A FORTNIGHT ago I spent a week in France where I own a house and while there, I participated in a “vide grenier” (empty the attic or the equivalent to a car boot sale here in the UK).

Over there, it’s an event often organised by the town hall. Locals do not pay a penny for the placement, one even gets a coupon for a free cup of coffee.

Imagine how (irritated) I was when I went to meet a friend at the local car boot sale in a field in Monkton Heathfield, where my partner and I arrived on foot and were charged £1 pound each for the privilege of being allowed to step onto the muddy ground.

Imagine you shop in town and at every store entrance you are asked to cough up a pound so you can enter the store and spend your hard-earned money? The expression ‘blatant rip-off’ springs to mind!

I wonder if we could not copy our French neighbours and ask the local council to allow the use of public land for car boot sales? By all means charge for paying people to organise and clean up after the event (in my village in France everything is done by volunteers).

It is a lovely way to bring people from the local community together and it won’t leave a bad taste in your mouth!

Congratulations to the entrepreneurs who take advantage of people trying to earn a few extra pennies and pay upfront (£7.50 for a car and £10 for a van and on top of this, £1 from everyone walking onto the site), capitalism in action!