Liberal Democrat campaigner and "Hackney Heroine," Pauline Pearce has challenged town hall bosses over their neglect and degradation of Hackney's markets - particularly the historic but threatened Kingsland Waste Market.
The Waste Market, which trades on Kingsland Road on Saturdays, specialises in second-hand and bargain-priced goods and had a long history on the site.
"The Waste really peaked in the 80s and 90s and has been in decline for some time," says Pauline Pearce. "Over the last few years the council has been much stricter about unlicensed traders and ironically this has just sped up the process and made things worse. It is now clear that Labour just want to be rid of it altogether."
Pauline, who is vice-chair of Hackney Liberal Democrats, says the Waste Market fills a valuable niche for Hackney residents. "It may not be glamorous, but in an area like this where there is still a lot of poverty and people having to make every pound stretch, losing the market will be a big blow."
Pauline and the local residents are supported by Ben Mathis, the local Lib Dem parliamentary spokeman. "Hackneys markets are one of the things that make our borough special and one of the reasons people want to live here. The way the council is allowing or even encouraging their decline and seems to want our borough to become just another homogenised clone town is an absolute scandal."