TODAY is the last day Gloucester Green market will look the way it looks in this photograph.
From next week, the Wednesday market will be managed by an outsourced body. We visited the mart and chatted to a few of the traders.
Oxford City Council’s official line is that there will be no price hikes at GloGreen. But the traders have a different view.
One told us that the Council had picked the best of a bad bunch to manage the market, but another, who we chatted to and who will remain anonymous was way more outspoken.
He said that the change had caused a price hike for his outfit of 33 percent. The Council, he said: “Basically washed their hands of the market five years ago.” The Council had neglected GloGreen and its basic aim was to chop costs, in line with the UK government’s directives.
He counted the ways the Council had raised the prices, charging £2 extra for “advertising”, while car park charges were also hiked.
“Don’t believe anything you read in the papers,” he said. “It’s all about cutting costs.”
We’ll visit GloGreen next week to observe the new configuration. ♥
THE INDIAN HIGH COMMISSION has outsourced its visa applications to what seems to be a British firm and confusion now reigns.
A firm called VFS – you can find it here, now looks after all British visa applications. This is great. The firm has a two to three day turn round time, but appears to have mislaid a consultant’s business application which he must have submitted three weeks ago on a promised two to three day turnround.
In the old days, you could just tip up to the Indian High Commission in the Strand, and they would issue you one provided you had all the documents and paid in cash. Plus ca change.
He called them on the premium line today. They said: “Don’t worry, we will find it.” What if this outsourced company has lost his passport? He travels to India in early October. Does he then have to apply for a new British passport and a fresh Indian business visa so everything can be lost all over again?
In the meantime, readers of this bog may be unaware that you still need a liquor permit if you go to Gujarat. And they’re serious about it. How, otherwise, could this man have lost £500 for having a bottle of liquor on Ahmedabad station? He didn’t seem to get a receipt from the cops.
Yes. Perhaps the Indian High Commission should have outsourced it to Bangalore. None of this cafuffle would have happened except that Lady Margaret Thatcher of Finchleyville insisted after a Khalsa rising in Amritsar that Indian citizens needed visas before they could come to the UK. The Indian government retaliated by saying we need visas too. And now we’re in outsourcing paradise. ♣