Traders at a long-standing city centre market have considered whether the space is now dominated by "street food" amid claims it is "in decline".

Gloucester Green Market in Oxford operates from Wednesday to Saturday where traders sell varied items from hot food to t-shirts and hardware.

Oxford Mail: The market on a quiet day.The market on a quiet day. (Image: Noor Qurashi)

A member of the 'Friends of Gloucester Green' group, Isabel Tucker, said at a full council meeting in January the market is "dominated by street food" and is "neglected in parts".

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Traders in the space shared their thoughts on her comments speaking to the Oxford Mail on Thursday lunchtime. 

Adrian King, of the Again Garments store, said: "I don't know what this is all about.

Oxford Mail: The market on a busy day.The market on a busy day. (Image: LSD Promotions)

"It is a community market and we love having the food.

"People are here to enjoy themselves and that is what they do."

Mr King conceded there was some "split opinion" amongst traders regarding negativity towards the market.

Ping Yu has been trading at the market since last year and works there four days a week.

She said: "I quite like it [street food]. 

Oxford Mail: Ping Yu at her stall.Ping Yu at her stall. (Image: Noor Qurashi)

"Without food I don't think as many people would come.

"I prefer having the food here and it's good for the whole market."

David Townsend has lived in Oxford since 1962 and has been an "on-off" antiques trader at the market for three years.

He said: "There is no oomph here.

"It used to be vibrant and I think the council has not encouraged that anymore.

"The parking fees are horrendous."

Oxford Mail: A food trader at his stall.A food trader at his stall. (Image: Noor Qurashi)

The Chilterns flats overlook the market and Sally Thomas has been a resident there since the year 2000.

She said: "Of course there are people who on a windy day do not like when there is a bit of smell from the food.

"That is living in a city centre square."

Oxford Mail: Peter Forbes at his stall.Peter Forbes at his stall. (Image: Noor Qurashi)

The longest-standing stall holder at Gloucester Green is said to be Peter Forbes who sells hardware which is all recyclable.

Mr Forbes has been at his stall for 34 years.

He said: "The food stalls are beneficial but there shouldn't be too many of course.

"This aisle should not be for food."

Mr Forbes added he did not wish to give operators any bad name as "they look after me very well".

Ziad Tilvek said he used to own three shops in the square for 33 years before these were taken down after which trading on the square became his only option.

Oxford Mail: Ziad Tilvek at his stall.Ziad Tilvek at his stall. (Image: Noor Qurashi)

He said: "I think there are too many food stalls in the market.

"A lot of them are the same thing.

"There should be different countries."

Trader Patrick Fernandes believes Covid has had a long-term impact on the market.

"Some of those stores have been suffering since then," Mr Fernandes said. 

"Students prefer the food."

Oxford Mail: Patrick Fernandes at his Sri Lankan stall.Patrick Fernandes at his Sri Lankan stall. (Image: Noor Qurashi)

An Oxford City Council spokesman said: "Gloucester Green market has grown from a small market operating two days a week to operating over four days a week.

"The 2020 pandemic had a significant impact on the market, however, it has bounced back.

"There has been a shift from the older more traditional market stall uses to more demand for new uses such as street food coupled with entertainment and experiential uses, all of which contribute to a vibrant market and a great community hub."

Market operators, LSD Promotions, added: "Markets across the country have evolved to adapt to changing consumer habits, including the rise of online shopping.

"While street food has become a prominent feature, it's important to note that it's just one aspect of our vibrant market.

"We take pride in offering a wide variety of stalls, including fresh produce, baked goods, vintage clothing, antiques, artwork, jewellery, and much more.

"Initiatives such as Art Fridays and Young Trader Fridays are just some of the ways we aim to support small businesses and create a sense of togetherness."