STRUGGLING traders face increased competition after a rival group was granted an extra market day.

Thames Valley Farmers' Market can now set up twice a month alongside the town's weekly Monday market.

Jimmy James, chairman of the group in charge of the Monday market, said business was already "very very bad" and would be made worse by Abingdon Town Council's decision.

Councillor Vicky Jenkins was the only one to object to the plan at a meeting on Wednesday, claiming rental charges at Market Place were unfair.

Stallholders at the Monday market pay £10.80 per 10 feet of space, whereas the farmers' market traders pay £9.80 regardless of size.

Andrew Todd, who chairs the council's community services committee, said: “The farmers' market has a manager who collects fees. On the other market it is up to us to collect the fees.

"It takes up people’s time.We are providing a service for that market. That’s why they are charged more. It would be nice to have a flat rate but it isn’t as simple as that.

"As far as I’m concerned I really don’t see what the problem is here."

Mr James said: “We have only just started doing it that way in the past year. If that’s the way they are going to behave perhaps we should hand all control back over to them.”

Abingdon Town Council ran the market until Mr James' Abingdon Market Traders Association took over 25 years ago.