STREET traders and Colchester’s MP have called for a survey about stallholders to be extended.

Colchester Council has invited residents and visitors to take part in a survey as part of a consultation into the value shoppers give street traders.

The survey was only “live” for six days. Trader Shahid Zaman, said: “They have only given four or five days to reply to this survey.

“ It is not enough time to get a good picture. We were unaware there even was a survey until we were informed by our MP, Will Quince.

“It all seems a bit cloak and dagger. It seems like there is a predetermined outcome.

“They seem to be skirting round the issue. We have asked for the 10,000 signature petition to form part of the review.”

The survey is part of a review of the town’s market, which began in 2013.

Controversy has surrounded the opening of a High Street market on Fridays and Saturdays, with street traders initially told to vacate pitches in Culver Street West.

The council later backed down.

Colchester MP Will Quince has written to the chief executive of Colchester Council calling for the survey to be extended.

He said: “If you are going to have a consultation it needs to be a proper one with questions which aren’t leading.It can’t be a stitch up – it has got to be clear, fair and transparent.”

Colchester Council’s online Shopper Survey opened on July 14 and the end date has been extended from July 26 to July 31.

The council has sent letters to every street trader, is arranging face-to-face meetings, and has written to 108 town centre businesses.