Skip to main content

bideford logo

Minutes of the Market Management Committee Meeting held via Zoom, on Tuesday 1 December 2020 at 6.30 pm

PRESENT:

East Ward

Councillor Mrs L Hellyer
Councillor J McKenzie (Chairman)
Councillor J Craigie

West Ward

Councillor Mrs K Corfe
Councillor C J Hawkins

Market Hall Mrs G Morgan

IN ATTENDANCE:

Mr R Coombes (Deputy Town Clerk)
2 x Tenants

 

184.     APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

There were no apologies received from Councillor Wootton, South Ward.

185.    DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST ON ITEMS ON THE AGENDA

There were no Declaration of Interest proffered.

186.    PUBLIC PARTICIPATION PERIOD

A Tenant stated that they did not believe that it was the right time for a rent increase. It is not known how long the fall-out from COVID-19 will continue, it could go on for a very long time; there could be further “Lockdowns.” Many businesses, including retail, have gone to the wall. Now is not a good time to engage a Development Officer.

A second tenant indicated that there was a feeling that it was not the right time to engage a (Market) Development Officer; they would be happy to help promote the Market if the Committee felt they could be of assistance. Should the Committee engage a Development Officer they would be willing to support them with the smaller tasks in order for the incumbent to maximise their effort.

187.    MINUTES

The Minutes of the Meeting held on 6 October 2020 were approved and signed as a correct record.

(Vote – For: 5, Against: 0)

188.    CHAIRMAN’S / MARKET ADMINISTRATOR’S REPORT

The Clerk advised Members that he had kept the Market Tenants / Traders up to date with COVID-19 information, including the latest Business Support Grant tranche.

The Complex would re-open on 2 December 2020, subject to Government directives.

The Market Officer will return to work full time from 2 December 2020 following his absence and previous month part time furlough working hours. His work tasks / objectives have been risk assessed and he has signed an agreement to this effect.

He reminded Members that the Market Officer works Tuesdays through to Saturdays when the majority trade in Butcher’s Row during this time.

For those Butcher’s Row Tenants who wish to open up and trade on Mondays, the Market Officer will place a barrier at the top of the stairs leading to Market Place / Street, after cease trading on Saturdays. The Market Place / Street gates will remain closed (on Mondays). As stated, there is not a Market Officer presence on Mondays.

The sanitisation stations will remain in place at either end of the “now” (Monday) singular thoroughfare running from Units 11 and 12 to Units 24 and 1a for those traversing through. There is no need for a visitor to touch anything, but they will have recourse to the sanitiser provision.

The Market Officer will remove the Barriers on Tuesday and sanitise the Row as normal.

Those Tenants that are trading, will adhere to the directives and sanitise their areas of responsibility accordingly and ensure the security of the thoroughfare on vacation.

The COVID-19 risk assessment has been updated to reflect this and the Tenants advised.

189.    ACCOUNTS

It was proposed by Councillor McKenzie, seconded and

RESOLVED: That the list of payments be approved.

(Vote – For: 5, Against: 0)

190.    TENANCY AGREEMENT / PROJECT OFFICER

a.    Introduction of the Tenancy at Will / Lease Agreement effective 1 April 2021 (previously agreed for 1 April 2020).

During discussion the Clerk reminded Members that it provided an opportunity to have each tenant on the same agreement and in reducing the weekly core hours to twenty-five the intention was a commitment from the tenants to be open.

It was confirmed that the hours were subject to the Government COVID-19 directives.

Proposed by Councillor Mckenzie, seconded and

RESOLVED: That the new Tenancy at Will / Lease Agreement be implemented for the Market Tenants, effective 1 April 2021.
(Vote – For: 5, Against: 0)

b.    Development Officer recruitment.

The Chairman indicated that he would like a Development Officer in post, by April 2021, in time to plan Events throughout the coming year.

Councillor Mrs Corfe expressed agreement.

Councillor Mrs Corfe believed that the Market (Hall) required a massive overhaul. It needed to appeal to everyday commerce, provide opportunities for (young) families to satisfy their regular household shopping needs.

She appreciated the Arts and Crafts theme running through the Complex. The future of the Market, though required robust meaningful thinking and agreement on what the Committee / Community want.

She expressed sadness that the Tenant providing a mobile ‘phone accessories and repair service had quit. They were a “breath of fresh air,” and had the potential to attract customers.

She praised the former Development Officer for their attitude and skills, but they were faced with poor attitude and barriers. There is a need for understanding from the Council, individuals and traders to move forward, successfully.

Councillor Mrs Hellyer confirmed the weekly hours of under which the Development Officer would be engaged.

The Clerk stated that originally the position advertised was £19,945 – 21,589 pro rata for twenty two and a half hours a week; fifteen hours committed to the Market and seven hours thirty Council projects. He directed Members to the Budget highlighting that in order to finance seven and a half hours there would need to be a rental increase of twelve per cent and fifteen hours, twenty four per cent.

Councillor Mrs Hellyer agreed that the Market needed an overhaul – there needs to be a reason to visit. She noted that in the recent past the Market sold items that were not needed on a weekly basis. Every day, fruit and vegetable produce were needed. She too, believed it a shame that the Mobile ‘phone tenant had quit. Taking up the Arts and Crafts theme she noted much of the local Community had limited budgets, the Town Centre and parts of East-the-Water are areas of social deprivation.

She reiterated the need for a Development Officer indicating that fifteen hours a week would be enough.

Mrs Morgan felt there was a need for balance. The Market (Community) needs help. She stated that the gruesome part of the Market’s development, clearing the Hall and returning it to two days trading a week, had been done. With the removal of (COVID-19) restrictions a number of the Tenants were in agreement to help and provide support to a newly engaged officer.

She warned against a twenty four per cent increase in rent that would be detrimental indicating that not all would be able to carry on (their business). There is a need to build morale; inclusion, cooperation and communication is required now.

Mrs Morgan restated the desire to help although not knowing the future position on restrictions, vaccines, testing and those vulnerable members of society. An extra quarter of monthly rent would need a decent footfall.

The Chairman spoke of an opportunity where a twelve per cent increase, along with a drawing from the reserves of unspent salary provision of the former officer, could provide for fifteen hours Market work a week. He suggested a further twelve per cent the following year would see the incumbent drawing more people to the Market.

The Clerk confirmed that he had spoken to the Town Clerk who had advised that there were the unspent funds of £6,000.00 that could combine with a twelve per cent increase to finance fifteen hours.

He suggested that should the Officer only be engaged for two days a week (total) the Market could purchase time from the Council, in the same manner that it engages the work of the Maintenance Team.

The Development Officer will need to work hard to establish new traders, generate meaningful revenue through promoting / hiring the Hall, organise in-house events that will attract income that in turn can be invested into the future of the Market.

He indicated the Committee should increase rent by three per cent, at least to keep abreast of rising costs. A twelve per cent rise would be the Studio Unit rent rise from £82.00 to £91.84, rounded to £92.00. He noted that the Studio Tenants had been provided with gratis tables during COVID-19 which had provided for a safe way to trade but also had benefited the look of the Market. The continuation would ease the burden.

He conceded that only engaging the officer for one day would present a challenge. A twelve per cent increase, with the reserve payment could see income generated that would not necessarily require such an increase the following year, as the Chairman had alluded.

The offer from Mrs Morgan and other tenants to work on initiatives alongside and in support of the newly appointed Development Officer would be welcome.

The Chairman still believed that an increase of twelve per cent left very competitive and attractive rents in relation to the High and Mill Streets. He reminded Members of the recent significant investment in the Complex including the Hall doors and robust Wi Fi; the offer still represented value for money.

Councillor Mrs Corfe advocated meetings to really hammer down what is wanted. The Tenants need to be engaged, the Community to establish a wish list of those traders / goods e.g. ‘phones, shoes and underwear. A robust plan and expectation can be provided to the officer of what is wanted to be achieved. The Market provides for an open book, traders / products can be targeted.

The Chairman noted from the NABMA Conferences that the most successful markets had a mix of the traditional, food, fruit and vegetables with niche items. He spoke also of the need to encourage younger people to trade, they will be the future, but also be generally attracted to the Market. He felt that there was a vacuum and spoke of finding initiatives to draw the younger people.

Discussion followed on canvassing / engaging the Community campaigning use of the social and print media. The Clerk directed Members to the Budget that indicated the monies earmarked for advertising / promotions.

SUSPENSION OF STANDING ORDERS

Proposed by Councillor J McKenzie, seconded and

RESOLVED: That Standing Orders are suspended in order to allow Ms Nicholls, Market Hall Tenant, to engage in the discussion.

(Vote – For: 5, Against: 0)

Ms Nicholls noted the expressed desire for a mix of traders and agreed that there could be too much of a single theme i.e. Arts and Crafts. In indicating her aspiration to set up as a florist (qualified), perhaps longer term in Butcher’s Row, she advised that there is not sufficient footfall to support perishables, at the moment.

Mrs Morgan advised that the previous Development Officer had done much work in establishing contacts with local businesses. Work can be done to allow for the new incumbent to hit the ground running. Ideas could include evening events / activities, cinema streaming, children’s disco. It was, nonetheless, a difficult economic time for everyone.

The Chairman spoke of building a new future, the investment made by the Council / tenants would be an investment in the Market business benefiting the Tenants / traders as it again becomes a visitor destination. It was mutually beneficial; any increase (in rent) should not be regarded as a subsidy but building for the future - a symbiotic relationship. He indicated that the present financial situation may provide for interest in market trading.

Proposed by Councillor Mckenzie, seconded and

RESOLVED: That a Development Officer is recruited on a fixed two-year term (including option to extend), financed through a twelve per cent rental increase supplemented with a drawing from reserves to provide for a fifteen hour week. A further rental review would be made when formulating the Budget 2022 / 2023.

(Vote – For: 5, Against: 0)

RETURN TO STANDING ORDERS

Proposed by Councillor J McKenzie, seconded and

RESOLVED: That the Meeting return to Standing Orders.

(Vote – For: 5, Against: 0)

191.    TENANT / TRADER REPORT – FESTIVE MARKET OPENING

a.   Tenant / Trader report.

Mrs Morgan intimated that she had largely made her contribution but confirmed that the Market needed help, accepted it would come at some cost, but the Tenants would continue trading in the meantime.

b.   Festive Market Opening.

Both Mrs Morgan and the Clerk, between them, had canvassed all the Complex Tenants. One Market Hall Tenant had expressed a desire to trade on 29 December 2020, otherwise a return on 2 January 2021 had been signalled.

The Clerk indicated that should those Butcher’s Row Tenants wish to open during the Festive break, the barriers, could be incorporated with an appropriate Notice.

Proposed by Councillor Mckenzie, seconded and

RESOLVED: That the Market Hall is closed cease work 24 December 2020 and reopened for trading 2 January 2021. Butcher’s Row can be accessed by Tenants for trading during the Festive period. The Market Officer will place a barrier at the top of the stairs leading to Market Place / Street, after cease work on 24 December 2020. The Market Place / Street gates will remain closed until trading on 2 January 2021.

(Vote – For: 5, Against: 0)

192.     LOW CARBON SKILLS FUND GRANT

Members had sight of the Decarbonisation and Environment Committee Meeting Minutes that provided details on the Low Carbon Skills Fund Grant and the potential benefits to the Market Building and Market Community, through additional funding for insulation, efficient heating and lighting opportunities.

It indicated that the Committee were required to resolve upon the application, as the benefitting body, although grant funding had been confirmed through Councillor Craigie’s earlier submission.

The Clerk indicated that whilst it had been recommended that Councillor Craigie, Chairman of the Decarbonisation and Environment Committee, sign as the applicant, both he and Councillor McKenzie would be required to sign the documentation iaw the Council’s SOPs.

Councillor Craigie confirmed that people had been lined up to provide the consultative expertise to provide for a establishing a development plan to reduce carbon emissions.

The Chairman alluded to the tight time frame (application submission by 11 January 2021) and asked could the Project be finalised.

In confirmation Councillor Craigie warned of the caveat where
they had to be able to demonstrate a carbon saving of £500 per tonne, to qualify for funding for the implementation stage.

Proposed by Councillor Craigie, seconded and

RESOLVED: That:

1.    Application is made by Councillor Craigie (and further authorised by both he and Councillor McKenzie), on behalf of the Committee, to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy to enable Salix Finance to provide a Low Carbon Skills fund Grant (LCSF) of up to £20,000.00.

2.    Councillor Craigie should be appointed the Accountable Officer, responsible for ensuring that the LCSF Grant is used in compliance of their terms and conditions.

3.    Both Chairmen of the respective Committees take the lead, in working together, to provide for the submission

4.    The Application provides for the Development of a Plan to lower Carbon Emissions from the Pannier Market.

(Vote – For: 5, Against: 0)

193.     DRAFT BUDGET 2021 / 2022

a.    Rent Review.

The Chairman indicated that Members had given consideration to the Rent review at Minute Number 190.b. in relation to the engagement of the Development Officer. The Committee were committed to a rental increase of twelve per cent.

Proposed by Councillor McKenzie and seconded by Councillor Mrs Corfe, it was

RECOMMENDED: That a rental increase of twelve per cent be implemented effective 1 April 2021; the resultant tariffs are either rounded up, or down, to the nearest pound. That each tenant / trader is advised accordingly.

(Vote – For: 5, Against: 0)

b.  Draft Budget 2021 – 2022.

Members had given consideration to the Draft Budget Document at Minute Number 190.b. in relation to the engagement of the Development Officer.

The Clerk drew their attention to the Budget “headings,” noting that there would be a saving in utilities payments, as a result of the Solar array, there had been no opportunity for Event receipts – the Kenwith Archers had not hired the Hall and that monies had to be made available to the Development Officer.

The Chairman confirmed that the increase of twelve per cent would give rise to an operating budget of £75.000.00. He noted savings could well provide for further investment.

Proposed by Councillor McKenzie, seconded by Councillor Mrs Hellyer and

RECOMMENDED: That the Draft Market Budget 2021/2022 be supported by the Council.

(Vote: – For: 5, Against: 0)

194.     CONFIDENTIAL ITEMS TO BE TAKEN IN PART II

Proposed by Councillor McKenzie, 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 were instructed to withdraw.

(Vote – For: 5, Against: 0)

195.     PART II (CLOSED SESSION)

THERE IS A SEPARATE CONFIDENTIAL SET OF MINUTES FOR THE CLOSED SESSION (196 – 198).

199.    RETURN TO STANDING ORDERS

Proposed by Councillor McKenzie, seconded and

RESOLVED: That the meeting returns to Standing Orders.

(Vote For: 5, 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 8.14 pm.

 

Pannier Market Accounts for approval at the Market Management Committee Meeting on 1 December 2020

Pannier Market Accounts as at 30 Nov 2020

 

  • This page will be updated when there is an updated newsletter in circulation.





    View and Download here

  • View our Town Guide at your leisure?

    You can download it as a set of documents to your local device.

    Bideford Town Guide 19 20 Page 01

    View and Download


♦Delivering the information you need about our decision making processes and supporting community participation in local democracy♦

♦ Helping to make the beautiful Town of Bideford a better place to live and work in! ♦


Bideford - A Fairtrade Town


fairtrade & Living Wage employers

Fairtrade is about equitable pricing, good work conditions, sustainability and fair trading for farmers and workers in the developing world. Bideford is a registered Fairtrade Town - Support local and world farmers - look for the fairtrade logo on your shopping items.

Visit the site...

facebook twitter instagram

Coach friendly

 

© Bideford Town Council 2015 Gingerweb Ltd site design and SEO In North Devon