Market ‘stinky water’ bag burst over fishmonger who had to strip and carry on working

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Fishmongers have condemned Leeds City Council after the fishmonger was drenched in the “p*** bag” as it was nicknamed by local traders at Kirkgate Market

Trader at Kirkgate Market
The “stinky” bag hangs right above Fish and Game Row in the Leeds city center market

A council has been slammed for the “filthy” and “disgusting” state of a local market after a “stinky” water collector burst all over a fishmonger, who was just going about his day.

Fishmongers have condemned Leeds City Council after the fishmonger was drenched in the “p*** bag” as it was nicknamed by local traders at Kirkgate Market.

The “stinky” bag hangs right above Fish and Game Row in the Leeds city center market, collecting rainwater which it then drains into buckets, reports Leeds Live.

Paul Morgan, 35, has worked in the market for a couple of years. He worked at Tarbett’s Fishmongers at the time of the unfortunate incident which saw him having to strip off and hand over his work clothes to helpful launderette workers in the market.







Fishmongers have condemned Leeds City Council after the fishmonger was drenched in the “p*** bag” as it was nicknamed
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Image:

Samuel Port)

Paul spoke about how he had to wait around, just in his shorts, while his “stinky” clothes were washed. He didn’t bother reporting it to the Leeds City Council at the time, about 18 months ago. He did not think the council would help him and he continued to work that day.

Paul said: “It once burst all over me, all over my work clothes. It stunk. I had to get all my work clothes washed and that.

“I got a wash in here and then the council washed it [the area] up. I just had shorts and that on, I had to take my clothes off and I had shorts on underneath.

“I didn’t complain, I just left it. As long as I washed my clothes and that, I wasn’t really bothered to be honest. I know they wouldn’t offer anything anyway.”







Paul spoke about how he had to wait around, just in his shorts, while his “stinky” clothes were washed
(

Image:

Samuel Port)

Paul now works slightly further up the row at another fishmonger – which is historically Tarbett’s rival – TE Bethell Best Quality Fish.

His boss Suzanne Lemming, 57 and owner of TE Bethell, condemned the level of maintenance as a “disgrace.” She said the council officers ought to be “sacked”.

Suzanne said: “Look at the market, it’s filthy. We’re working with a bag of p*** up there. That’s what we call it.

“That’s to collect the rainwater and then they’ll come and empty it from the buckets in the back there. It just goes through the hose pipes and then they’ll come to empty it.







This comes after a series of complaints about the council have come to light
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Image:

Samuel Port)

“The management is an absolute disgrace, everyone wants sacking. If you look on the roofs, there’s a whole load of tissue paper to catch the water and buckets. That’s to catch the rainwater. All the way across, that’s all tissue paper. It’s disgusting.”

This comes after a series of complaints about the council have come to light. Well-known butcher-shop Malcolm Michaels Quality Butchers is leaving due to ‘high rent and minimal footfall’. Plus another butcher JP Johnston’s has condemned the council for serving him an eviction notice in the post after 43 years of trading there.

Suzanne added her voice to these complaints, labeling the rent prices “horrendous” for what they get. Suzanne said: “The rent is horrendous, when I started in 2001, my rent was £700 a month and now we’re on about £1,700.

“There’s tons less footfall. Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday were our main days, on a quiet day our minimum take was £400 in about 2010, now it’s usually £110 if you’re lucky.”

Leeds City Council says they’re in “constant discussion” with traders over improvement works. The local authority says it aims to renovate units to a “modern day standard”, which is presently being carried out on all 1,875 block shops.

These improvements will “put a stop to the water ingress issues we have in this area, removing the temporary measure we have had to put in place”.

A spokesperson for the authority added the Covid-19 pandemic has caused work to stall, with “difficulties” arising from finding suitable contractors to carry out the work.

The council spokesperson went on to say: “Over £1m has been given over the course of the pandemic in rent concessions, over and above any government grants received by traders. Additionally, phase one of the market’s restoration for the 1875 block shops will cost just over £4m with phases two and three still to come. Additionally, during 2021/22, £264,545 was spent on repairs and maintenance for the market.”

The local authority said it’s discounted rents over most the pandemic period, with just over £1million in concessions, and continue to offset service charges.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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