Market Management Committee Meeting Minutes - 22 June 2017
Councillor P Christie (substitute for Councillor Brenton)
Councillor Mrs R Craigie
Councillor J McKenzie
Councillor S G Inch (substitute for Councillor McGeough)
Councillor B Wootton
Mrs J Fisher
Mr N Morgan
Mr R Coombes (Deputy Town Clerk)
In the absence of the Chairman and Deputy Chairman Councillor Mrs Craigie agreed to assume the Chairmanship for the duration of the Meeting.
17. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
Councillors D Brenton (South Ward – personal), D McGeough (North Ward – Mayoral commitment) and T Johns (North Ward – personal).
18. DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST ON ITEMS ON THE AGENDA
Councillor Christie declared a pecuniary interest – trader in the Market Hall. He indicated, therefore, that he would abstain from voting during the proceedings.
19. PUBLIC PARTICIPATION PERIOD
There were no members of the public present.
The Minutes of the Meeting held on 25 May 2017 were approved and signed as a correct record.
(Vote – For: 3, Against: 0, Abstention: 1)
21. MATTERS ARISING
No matters were raised.
22. MARKET ADMINISTRATORS REPORT
a. A second pre-notified fire practise was held on 20 June 2017 following the last one held in February 2017. Lessons learned from the previous drill included the need for an alarm to be sited for the benefit of Market Street tenants. An alarm was installed above the Butchers Row Entrance, on Market Street, and it worked well. A further need identified was the “recruitment” of “fire marshals”. Three tenants / traders had come forward, and took part on the day; each with firefighting experience (either having been retained fire fighters or former fire fighters). The drill did benefit from a number of “staff”, however, this enabled the drill to be performed and was deemed a success, with other pointers to be taken on board. A no notice practise will be called in due course, following a debrief / wash up on Tuesday’s activity.
b. Butchers Row was left insecure on Saturday 20 May 2017; this is a rarity and the Market Officer has reminded Tenants to ensure all gates secure on exit of last vacation.
c. Bideford Gardeners Club – 20 August 2017. This is a long standing and traditional event. It had clashed with a Tourism Committee Event although this failed to materialise. Members were in agreement that the Event should be confirmed.
d. The Market Administrator was in receipt of a strongly worded call from a trader, who repeatedly instructed: “listen”. During the conversation he stated that the Traders had no faith in the Market Management Committee nor the Market Administrator. They would write to the Mayor about their concerns. The current issue was the removal of items in preparation for this Sunday’s highly publicised Clay: A Festival of Ceramics. The Event was not news to the Trader(s) similarly that all items should be removed. The Market Officer and the Hirer had spoken to traders much earlier and, indeed, the Event had been discussed / approved at the Committee held in February.
Notwithstanding the challenges faced by traders / tenants, it is not appropriate for them to be disrespectful when engaging with the officers of the Council.
Councillor Christie stated that the Events did prove disruptive; he wondered if there was a possibility to store items behind the Studio Units. The Market Administrator confirmed that during a conversation between the Hirer, Market Officer and himself that items could be stored, with screens set up between the Studios, as a cover. The Screens though would have to be sited behind the fire extinguishers.
Councillor S G Inch noted that other Markets had to clear their stock away at cease of trading; he believed that the traders at the Bideford Pannier Market were fortunate with their conditions.
It was noted that while there were mutterings of discontent, concerns had not been passed through to the Committee representatives.
Members expressed a desire for the Committee Market representatives to be returned to full strength; the process to elect the Market Hall, Butchers Row and Market Street shop will be started.
Mr Morgan confirmed that the basic requirement was a stall / pitch area. Over time people have extended their footprint that had, as a consequence, exacerbated the problem.
e. Members had sight of correspondence received from Devon County Council regarding the trees within the Pannier Market environs. Cost and safety to pedestrians were cited behind their “recommendation to remove the two trees and replacement with a more appropriate species for the room available. The replacement trees recommended are Chanticleer Pears”
The Market Administrator indicated that a local resident, Mr Pearce, had suggested a Christmas Tree outside the Market, in the past. Mrs Fisher saw merit adding that lights during the festive period would be a benefit to the area.
Councillor McKenzie stated that he had researched the Chanticleer Pear and found that the species smell of rotten fish, chlorine and semen. Further, they are invasive and errant birds promote the spread of the seeds. They were though low maintenance.
Discussion followed that considered:
• Ornamental cherry – falling fruit, hazard.
• Car parking opportunity, including electric car charging points / disabled.
o Historically not good, abused with abandoned cars.
• Public opprobrium at removal of living trees.
• Flowering evergreen shrubs.
• Plinth / platform – showcase Market art / talent.
o Create a focal point potential to commission Maggie Curtis reflecting on the Market through time.
• No to Chanticleer Pear. Removal of designated trees leaving area prepared for future opportunity.
Members indicated a desire to develop a plan to enhance the area before the Trees are removed. They agreed that the item should be placed on the Agenda for the Meeting to be held on 3 August 2017. They were resolute in their objection to the planting of Chanticleer Pears. It was noted that the planting would ordinarily take place in the autumn.
Councillor McKenzie asked if provision had been made for payment to the Council following work carried out by the Maintenance Operatives.
The Market Administrator confirmed that the Town Clerk would allocate a cost to the Market, for their services.
It was proposed by Councillor S G Inch, seconded and
RESOLVED: That the list of payments be approved.
(Vote – For: 4, Against: 0)
24. NABMA HEALTH CHECK REPORT
The Chairman expressed her disappointment with the Nabma Report.
Members identified various points where discussion included:
• Tourist Information material in the Market Hall.
• Tenant / trader artistic work displayed in the Burton at Bideford.
• Developing further communication between both agencies with a view to promoting and directing each to visitors.
o Engage in window displays, through the Town.
• Improvement of technology.
o Tourism initiatives including the Interactive Board will be beneficial.
o Extended Wi-Fi in the Town regarded as very positive.
Mr Morgan had spoken with the Administrative Manager at the Burton; he will be having further talks to develop a mutual and beneficial accord.
Members were in agreement that a Development Plan should be considered that would define where the future of the Market lay. Each trader and tenant will be invited to provide three points on how they would like to see the Market develop / improve. They will all be asked to reply, even if they have a “nil” return / no ideas to submit.
The Development Plan will be placed on the Agenda for the next Meeting.
Mrs Fisher indicated that she had booked three acts for the summer holidays and would seek to promote them / the Market.
Councillor S G Inch noted that Barnstaple Town Council is very effective in their use of social media / Facebook, in particular. Members looked forward to the additional Council manpower to exploit the medium in the future.
26. COMMITTEE TRADERS / TENANTS
a. Mrs Fisher spoke about the defunct bus stop outside the Market and traffic warden advice to park across the entrance to the Market doors, thereby blocking access. Having made enquiries to Highways she established that there would be a Highways Meeting on 5 July 2017. She hoped that Loading Bay status could be considered – she noted that the current loading bay sign does not reflect the current Market trading.
b. A group of traders are working with Intagr8 to spearhead a shuttle bus from the Town to the Market, on a Saturday. The plan is to use the TDC provided Intagr8 bus; they are looking for volunteer drivers.
c. The Barnstaple Town Manager has worked with DCC to provide traders, along Butchers Row, with “traders’ passes” qualifying them with an up to twenty minute loading and unloading period (not legally binding). She would like the initiative to be explored for Bideford traders / tenants. The Market Administrator agreed to contact DCC (a and c).
27. CONFIDENTIAL ITEMS TO BE TAKEN IN PART II
Proposed by Councillor Wootton, seconded and
RESOLVED: That in view of the confidential nature of the business about to be discussed, it is advisable, in the public interest, that the public be excluded for the remainder of the meeting; the tenants / traders were instructed to withdraw.
(Vote – For: 4, Against: 0)
28. PART II (CLOSED SESSION)
29. UPDATE ON RENT
The Market Administrator advised that all payments had been made for June 2017.
30. MARKET COMPLEX UNITS
(Councillor Christie left the Meeting.)
Members considered eleven applications for Butchers Row Units: 8, 9 and 10/11.
Proposed by Councillor McKenzie, seconded and
RESOLVED: That Butcher Row tenancies are offered to:
• 8: T Benton.
• 9: K Harley.
• 10/11: T Commins.
Should confirmation be received from T Commins, K La Fontaine will be offered the tenancy to Unit 12 (on vacation by T Commins).
(Vote – For: 4, Against: 0)
The Chairman, having established that there was no further business to discuss, thanked the Members for their attendance and concluded the Meeting at 8.47 pm.