A GREENGROCER has been left ‘devastated’ after losing his livelihood.

Jonty Page was given just 24 hours to dismantle his fruit and veg stall at Knutsford Market after losing an appeal against the revocation of his licence.

The 63-year-old trader strongly refutes allegations made against him by Knutsford Town Council.

Jonty, from Knutsford, said: “They have no proof or evidence. It’s all hearsay.

“I’ve been treated unfairly, wrongly accused when I haven’t done anything.

“I'm devastated. It is a witch hunt.”

Jonty was accused of leaving a market door unlocked and provided evidence that he was at home at the time.

Feeding a white dove outside the market, he says, was another false allegation.

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“We sell bird seed and a bag burst,” said Jonty, who has traded at the market since summer 2018.

Knutsford Guardian: Jonty Page took great pride in displaying his fresh produce as a Parisian marketJonty Page took great pride in displaying his fresh produce as a Parisian market (Image: Jonty Page)

“Birds came down as I was brushing it away.”

Allegations that Jonty was watching ‘porn’ have also been denied.

A customer said: “I came into the market and was using Jonty’s laptop to show him how to buy cryptocurrency.

“He went off to serve customers and for a bit of tomfoolery, I clicked on a sexy website.

“It was only on for seconds before I switched it off.

Knutsford Guardian: Jonty battled throat cancer in 2020Jonty battled throat cancer in 2020 (Image: Jonty Page)

“I wrote to the council and explained what happened. I offered to swear an affidavit.

“It had nothing to do with Jonty. They’ve made him a scapegoat.”

Around 30 people turned up to support Jonty at the appeal hearing on Monday but had to wait outside.

Jonty’s brother Richard, 72, who was allowed to watch proceedings, said: “It was like a kangaroo court.

“I think it’s absolutely disgusting. Lots of evidence Jonty supplied appeared to be totally ignored.

“He has been treated very badly. He has been stitched up like a kipper. It is already affecting his health, he looks absolutely exhausted.

Knutsford Guardian: Jonty enjoyed making sure his stall was always 'pristine'Jonty enjoyed making sure his stall was always 'pristine' (Image: Jonty Page)

“It has taken its toll.”

Jonty battled throat cancer in January 2020 and raised £1,600 to thank The Christie for saving his life.

“I beat cancer but I can’t beat the council,” said Jonty, who took great pride in displaying his fresh produce like a Parisian market.

“I had it pristine, one side fruit, one side veg all in a diamond shape.

“It’s not just a shop, it’s an experience, they can taste anything under no obligation to buy.

“We know all our customers by their first names and they love it.

“Anything people ask for we provide, okra, fresh turmeric and fresh horseradish.”

Jonty enjoys being part of the local community, following in the footsteps of his late parents, Doug and Beth, who were both councillors.

Doug was chairman of Knutsford Urban District Council and served for 30 years.

The couple were mayor and mayoress of Macclesfield, while Beth became a Knutsford town councillor and served as mayor twice.

Jonty supports Knutsford Lions’ fundraising events and dresses up as Santa every year to serve a turkey dinner to pensioners on Christmas Day.

A spokesman for Knutsford Town Council said: “We are committed to providing a safe and welcoming environment to all customers and traders at Knutsford Market Hall.

“Before Christmas, the town council received a formal complaint regarding a market trader.

“Following an investigation, a decision was taken to revoke the licence to trade due to a failure to comply with the market hall regulations.

“This decision followed a warning which had been issued in early December.

“All revocation decisions are subject to the right of appeal.

“The appeal was heard by the town council’s town centre committee on Monday, January 15.

“After careful consideration of all evidence presented to the council, the committee resolved to dismiss the appeal.

“The town council does not consider it appropriate to discuss or comment on the specifics of this decision.

“However, revoking a licence to trade is not a decision taken lightly nor in haste and the council undertook a robust process in reaching this decision.

“The town council believes it is the correct decision for our remaining traders, customers and staff.”

The town council is now appealing for a new market greengrocer.

The council spokesman added: “We know how important an independent greengrocer is to our customers.

“We will now actively seek a new trader to operate a fruit and veg stall. In the interim, the market butcher will be providing a greengrocer service.

“2024 is a big year for the Market Hall, as it marks is 60th birthday.

“We are working hard with traders to ensure our temporary move to 60 King Street goes smoothly and are excited to deliver the significant investment and modernisation at the market hall to ensure it continues to thrive for the next 60 years.”