Public outcry has seen fish stall trader Ken Langley’s ban from all Wiltshire markets overturned.

The 62-year-old fell out with the council after he says he was given little warning of its decision to cancel a market in Melksham because of threatened high winds. He said it was too late to cancel his order of fresh fish from Devon and so when it arrived in Melksham he still sold it to regular customers, leading to the ban.

But now, after his customers kicked up a stink, his case was taken up by the chairman of the Melksham Area Board – who happens to be one of his regular customers.

Jonathon Seed, who is also Wiltshire councillor for Summerham and Seend said:

“I have used Ken’s fabulous fish stall for many years. I thought that a permanent ban for a market trader was disproportionate for the offence of one trading irregularity.

“I was contacted by several local people on this issue so I made representation to both the leader of the council and cabinet member responsible for markets and I would like to thank them for their personal interest in Ken’s predicament.

“I am delighted that Ken has had his licence to trade reinstated and expect that he will comply with reasonable council instructions in future.

“Let us all support Ken by buying his excellent fish and support other market traders so that our cherished markets flourish.”

Despite his now overturned ban, Ken was given licence to trade from his Ken’s Fish van in Devizes on Thursday as its market is now run by Devizes Town Council.

He said: “People were really pleased to see me. A lot of people thought I wouldn’t be able to come to Devizes because of the ban by the council.

“I have a lot of loyal customers in Devizes who come to see me every Thursday. I’ve been doing this job since I was just a young lad.

“I understand about health and safety but the council left it very late to tell me the market was off.

“I’ve been very loyal to Melksham market for about 12 years and during lockdown I was often the only stall there.”

The problem arose when the council feared Storm Francis would blow into the county on August 25. He says he was told in the afternoon of the previous day that Melksham market was to be cancelled.

He said: “I told them that my order was already in and if I didn’t sell the fish I would be very out of pocket.

“It’s been very upsetting and there is no appeal process.”

He said he had enjoyed going to Melksham and in 12 years had only missed a handful of market days.

The week after the ban he did return to Melksham and served customers from a private driveway but was warned by the council that this was not allowed and if seen again could be fined up to £1,000.