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Minutes of the Market Management Committee held via Zoom on Thursday 25 February 2021 at 6.30 pm

PRESENT:

East Ward:

Councillor Mrs L Hellyer
Councillor J McKenzie (Chairman)

South Ward:

Councillor R Wootton

Market (Hall) Tenants: Mrs Morgan

IN ATTENDANCE:

Mr R Coombes (Deputy Town Clerk)

200.     APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

Councillor Hawkins (West Ward, clash of Meetings).

There were no apologies of absence received from Councillors Mrs Corfe and J Craigie.

201.     DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST AND ANY REQUESTS FOR DISPENSATION ON ITEMS ON THE AGENDA

There were no declarations of interest.

202.     PUBLIC PARTICIPATION SESSION OF 15 MINUTES DURATION

Mrs Morgan indicated that she was speaking on behalf of the Market Hall Tenants, believing that the impact of COVID-19 had not seen opportunity shared equally throughout the Complex. She noted that the Butcher’s Row Tenants retained the ability to access and work within their Units, whilst the Hall tenants did not.

A recent grant funding stream again found the Market Hall Tenants unable to benefit yet Butcher’s Row / Market Place Tenants have been cushioned by the Central Government Business Support Grants.

The Tenants will have been unable to trade for three months (including March 2021) at a cost in rent of £246.00, with an increase in rent due 1 April 2021, again without the opportunity to open until 13 April 2021 (at the earliest). Whilst appearing to be a modest amount against no revenue it is significant.

Two Tenants have questioned whether they can carry on, having stuck through thick and thin but believing in the future of the Market.

In conclusion Mrs Morgan stated that the Tenants would be grateful for Rent support from the Committee.

203.    MINUTES

Proposed by Councillor McKenzie and seconded by Councillor Mrs Hellyer, the Minutes of the Meeting held on 1 December 2021 were approved and signed as a correct record.

(Vote – For: 3, Against: 0)

204.     CHAIRMAN’S / MARKET ADMINISTRATOR’S REPORT

The Clerk advised that the Market Officer returned to work on 1 February 2021 having been furloughed for the month of January 2021.

He has worked to bring Units 15/6 up to a (re)letting standard; the incoming Tenant had praised his work.

He will now set to work on Unit 17.

205.     MATTERS ARISING

Minute Number 190.a. Introduction of the Tenancy at Will / Lease Agreement effective 1 April 2021. The Clerk advised Members that the Chairman, the Tenant, Clerk and a Witness will sign the Lease Agreement.

He indicated that while the Agreement is effective 1 April 2021, there are a sequence of dates to follow. The Tenants are in situ, it is very much a paperwork exercise. He will forward soft copies to each individual Tenant with a view to providing an understanding and follow up with hard copy agreements, subject to COVID-19 restrictions.

206.    ACCOUNTS

It was proposed by Councillor McKenzie, seconded by Councillor Mrs Hellyer and

RESOLVED: That the lists of payments for 31 January and 25 February 2021 be approved.

(Vote – For: 3, Against: 0)

207.    FIRE MARSHAL TRAINING

The Clerk advised that the Fire Marshals were an integral part of the Fire Risk Assessment and Fire Evacuation Procedure.

He advised that the Market Officer and the Café Tenant were due to have their certification renewed. He indicated that an opportunity provided for a further Tenant to be trained and a member of Maintenance Team.

Training will be held in Barnstaple for half a day with dates available in March and June 2021.

The Chairman noted that an outgoing tenant had also been part of the Fire Marshal cadre.

It was proposed by Councillor McKenzie, seconded by Councillor Mrs Hellyer and

RESOLVED: That the Market Officer, Mrs Fisher, Ms Nicholls and a Maintenance Officer attend Fire Marshal refresher / training. Costs / subsistence to be paid.

(Vote – For: 3, Against: 0)

208.    TENANT / TRADER REPORT

Mrs Morgan followed her earlier statement by noting how terribly sad the Hall looked, with some Units still decorated for Christmas. She looked forward to the reopening and an injection of people.

209.    COVID-19 UPDATE

The Chairman reminded Members that the return, week commencing 12 April 2021, was aspirational and not set in stone; a goal subject to the Government’s satisfaction in the face of the pandemic.

The Clerk indicated that the COVID-19 risk assessment would remain in place including the “face, space and hands,” directives with the continued provision of hand sanitizer / regular cleansing of washroom facilities / handrails.

The Clerk confirmed that the third Lockdown had been stricter than the second, not allowing for click and collect. Some Butcher’s Row / Market Place Tenants have worked in their Units but not sold (from them). Although the Clerk had provided access on occasions, the opportunity to operate from the Hall was further restricted with the Market Officer having been absent during January through the Furlough scheme.

Members discussed the impact of the Lockdown upon the Market Hall Tenants and support for them. The Clerk noted that the Market will have received £20,365.00 as a result of the Business Rates Support Grant. In addition, they had been in receipt of two furlough payments. The monies compared favourably with the revenue earned through Market Hall traders / tenants’ receipts, in recent years.

The Chairman believed there was an opportunity to provide a rental holiday for the Market Hall Studio Unit Tenants (and Shop Unit 28) given the lack of access to provision available for the other Tenants and speculated on further support.

It was proposed by Councillor Mrs Hellyer, seconded by Councillor Wootton and

RESOLVED: That the Market Hall Tenants, including Shop Unit 28, are reimbursed the payments made for January / February 2021 and that the rental payment for March 2021 is waived.

(Vote – For: 3, Against: 0)

210.     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: 3, Against: 0)

211.     PART II (CLOSED SESSION)

THERE IS A SEPARATE CONFIDENTIAL SET OF MINUTES FOR THE CLOSED SESSION (212 – 214).

215.     RETURN TO STANDING ORDERS

Proposed by Councillor McKenzie, seconded and

RESOLVED: That the meeting returns to Standing Orders.

(Vote For: 3 Against: 0)

The business of the meeting having been completed, the Chairman thanked the members for their attendance and the meeting concluded at 7.21 pm.

 

Pannier Market Accounts as at 31 January 2021

Pannier Market Accounts for approval at meeting of 25 February 2021

 

 

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