Councillors may not debate the future of the Birmingham’s wholesale markets – despite receiving a petition containing more than 20,000 names.
Under the rules of the authority, the submission of any petition bearing 20,000 signatures should automatically trigger a debate by the full council at Birmingham City Council.
But the organisation claimed the petition was flawed on several counts and instead passed the issue to a smaller scrutiny committee to discuss.
Officials argued a claim that the markets were being closed was misleading and said there were only 18,000 valid signatures because some were from outside Birmingham or were illegible.
The Support our Markets campaign was launched last summer after the council served notice on Wholesale Markets traders to quit the site by next year.
The council-owned site in Pershore Street is earmarked for redevelopment.
But the authority has insisted the traders will not be forced to leave until a suitable alternative location can be found.
Keith Smith, of the Wholesale Market Association, said: “Tens of thousands of people throughout Birmingham and the wider Midlands are concerned enough about the effect on people and jobs to have signed this petition.
“The debate should be held by the full council.”
Longbridge Labour councillor Andy Cartwright, who worked at the Wholesale Markets for six years and presented the petition to the council, said it was wrong to discount signatures from outside Birmingham as the stalls were a regional facility.
But he called a full inquiry by a scrutiny committee as long as all the evidence was looked at and views put forward.
“The Wholesale Market must stay. No other city in Europe would take its famous market away,” he added.
The report on the petition was due to be considered by the council’s business management committee today.