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Minutes of the Market Management Committee held in the Town Hall on Thursday 19 August 2021 at 6.32 pm

PRESENT:

North Ward:

Councillor D Bushby
Councillor J Herron (Chairman)

West Ward:

Councillor D Ratcliff (Town Mayor)
Councillor C Hawkins

Market Tenants:

Mr M Dendle
Mrs G Morgan

IN ATTENDANCE:

Mr R Coombes (Deputy Town Clerk)
Mr C Farris (Development Officer)

22.     APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

Councillors Mrs L Hellyer (East Ward – personal) and J McKenzie, (East Ward – personal).

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

There were no declarations of interest.

24.     PUBLIC PARTICIPATION SESSION OF 15 MINUTES DURATION

There were no public members present.

25.     MINUTES

Proposed by Councillor Hawkins and seconded by Councillor Herron, that the Minutes of the Meeting held on 8 July 2021 were approved and signed as a correct record.

(Vote – For: 3, Against: 0, Abstention: 1)

26.     ACCOUNTS

It was proposed by Councillor Herron and seconded by Councillor Hawkins, and

RESOLVED: That the lists of payments for 19 August 2021 be approved.

(Vote – For: 4, Against: 0)

27.     CHAIRMAN’S / MARKET ADMINISTRATOR’S REPORT

There was no report.

28.     DEVELOPMENT OFFICER.

a.       Update. The Development Officer reported that the Flower Show, held in the Market on Sunday 8 August, was one of the best attended. The annual show featured the National Begonia Society’s South West Regional Show. (It also hosted the British Championship for five pot of Tuberous Double Begonias and the National Society Championship for twelve Blooms of Tuberous Double Begonia.)

Councillor Mrs Corfe had at short notice, organised a Jumble Sale that had raised £160.00 for local charity.

Mrs Morgan queried how second hand clothes had been allowed to be sold from the Market Hall.

The Clerk indicated that whilst there was a long standing rule that did not allow for the sale of second hand clothes on trading days, the Hall had been hired for an independent event on a non-trading day.

Councillor Bushby led members in believing that the ruling was out dated, and the restrictive practise made no sense; “vintage clothing,” remained pre-used i.e. second hand. Members expressed their desire for a change with an agenda item / resolution to the effect at the next Market Meeting.

The Development Officer advised that on Wednesday, 25 August 2021 the Hall will host the first Welcome Back Event organised by South West Event Management Solutions (SWEMS). There will be a bouncy castle, face painting, circus workshops, a chance to get up close and personal with some creatures from Really Wild Learning, close up magic and balloon fun, Boo Boo the Clown, Spiderman, free crafts workshops and more.

On Thursday, 26 August 2021, the Hall will host a Jobs Fair organised by the Barnstaple Job Centre that will run from 10.30 am to 2.30 pm. A recent event in Barnstaple saw in excess of 500 attendees, with twenty Businesses present resulting in twenty four job offers.

b.        Welcome Back Fund update. The Development Officer spoke of the Tender process where submissions to stage three Events to a brief were given a deadline, assessed and scored, to satisfy the administration and accountability requirements of the Fund. He indicated that SWEMS with a proven track record had everything in place to “hit the road running.” The organiser had liaised with the Market Tenants; the next Event will be held on Sunday 26 September, “Meet the Makers,” traders from Bideford and the surrounding area will be invited to hold workshops for the public to take part in.

A Christmas Food and Drink Festival will be held on Sunday 28 November 2021 and local traders’ will be invited from Bideford and the surrounding area. There will be a workshop held and on 5 December 2021 to build costumes and props for the Christmas Light Switch On.

c.        Late Night Opening. Both the Development Officer and Mrs Morgan attested to the Butcher’s Row initiative having been very popular and was working very well. The desire from the Tenants is to continue through August and thence every first Thursday through to (and including) December 2021.

Mr Dendle advised that the Tenants had, themselves, engaged Atlantic Spirit (gin) and paid for musical entertainment.

The Clerk indicated that in the past the Committee had supported tenants / trader initiatives with a willingness to match fund. The Late Night Initiative was born out of the Butcher’s Row tenants simply closing later. The Development Officer has access to the agreed budget that could be drawn upon, including advertising, to provide support.

Councillor Bushby indicated that the first port of call for the funding was to help the Market, which is central to Bideford.

The Development Officer noted that the Town was dead on a Thursday night. He noted that along with the late opening, the music, pizza (donated by Bellunno’s restaurant), and a food lorry it would provide for more people to take notice (of the Market area).

In relation to the Market Hall opening in tandem security would need to be considered; there would be need for a responsible person in place on the night. (The Clerk indicated that an officer could work a later staggered shift.)

The Development Officer highlighted that Butcher’s Row thoroughfare is self-contained, it is easy to operate.

Discussion followed on the Hall encouraging more traders, food / catering opportunities, optimum use of the space, including music for the open evening. The Development Officer will develop the idea and advertise through Businesses of Bideford Bay.

Councillor Bushby felt that often visitors to the Town were found simply milling around – there is nothing to direct them to the Market.

The Development Officer had toured the Town with the Chairman, Councillor McKenzie, identifying three places (Bideford Town Council planters) to append signage: including outside Lloyds Bank opposite the Mill Street gateway and opposite the coach stop. The Jubilee Square office’s interactive screen provides information in addition to the number of maps in the Town. They had considered the overhead wires used for the Christmas Decorations for banners.

He continued by stating that the location on “Google Page” is helping; he had received a “post,” that evening confirming details for the Thursday Late Night Shopping Event; he stated that “we are reaching people.” He and the Maintenance Teams had delivered leaflets; a subsequent publication will reflect the “core hours.”

Discussion returned to developing the Thursday Night Tenant initiative. The Businesses had invested in the entertainment drawing upon the local talent to support and promote the evenings, a symbiotic relationship.

The Development Officer’s role is to increase the footfall and trader interest.

Councillor Bushby indicated that public funds could be allocated to an event but not to (subsidise) individual businesses.

The Development Officer noted that the Welcome Back Fund had strict criteria, that it supported new ventures over and above what is being offered. He alluded to state aid restrictions in support of private ventures.

The Butcher’s Row Late Night Shopping initiative focused on drawing customers to the Pannier Market. The Welcome Back Fund, administered by the District Council is Town and Torridge Wide.

The SWEMS Welcome Back Event will see a trail leading from the Town to the Market. He indicated that in running the Tender process for the Council, it was under his Project Officer one day a week hat, the other two days remaining Market specific.

Mrs Morgan sought to identify potential dates for the Market Hall calendar. There would be a singer and face painter booked in support of the Arts Crafts Pirate day on 21 August 2021.

She would like to extend the Saturday, 30 October 2021 Market to a late night, 8.00 am to 8.00 pm trading day with a Halloween theme, food provision and entertainment.

Members indicated that the Development Officer should work with Mrs Morgan to provide a coherent package. Mr Dendle indicated that it sat well with the Developpment Officer’s role. Councillor Bushby agreed indicating that it would be good business.

The Development Officer spoke about having recently met other Market Officers. The Markets of South Molton, Tiverton and Tavistock were quite different. He indicated that there could be a collaborative sharing of ideas, providing for a bespoke package.

The Chairman wondered if the Project Initiation Form could be remodelled for the Tenants / Development Officer to progress events / ideas.

Mrs Morgan indicated a willingness collaborate with SWEMS over late night / festive opportunities.

Proposed by Councillor Herron, seconded and

RESOLVED: That trading in the Market Hall is extended on Saturday, 30 October 2021 until 8.00 pm.

(Vote – For: 4, Against: 0)

Following the vote Councillor Bushby suggested that a large banner could be hung in the Hall advising that the venue is available for hire.

29.     TENANT / TRADER REPORT

Mrs Morgan requested that two white boards be purchased to provide detail pertinent to the Market stakeholders including forthcoming events.

Members expressed agreement leading Councillor Hawkins to consider investigating a in TV screen with rotating banner.

Further discussion included the Bideford Pannier Market.co.uk URL that the Development Officer and Councillor Hawkins will look to update and populate.

Given the success of the Thursday night late openings Members were content with the Tenants’ desire to extend through to Christmas a late night opening on the first Thursday of the month.

Mr Dendle indicated the Notice Boards needed updating and that the Perspex sheet Notice Boards were underutilised – an opportunity being missed.

He indicated a desire from the Market Community for the Councillors of the Market Management Committee and the wider Town Council to meet the Tenants on a more regular basis.

Mr Dendle wondered if the Committee would consider interviewing prospective Tenants. Councillor Ratcliff referred to 2003 when he was on the Committee and found it very useful to engage with prospective tenants.

The Development Officer spoke of the practicalities of interviewing a number of applicants. He felt that there was an opportunity, similar to the Tender process, to assess potential tenants.

Councillor Bushby noted that the Market was fully occupied suggesting that Members could meet and be selective, evaluate for the best fit. In the last few years there have been vacancies with few applicants. He believed that the Development Officer, Chairman and Clerk should assess the applications in the first instance, officer lead rather than Committee lead.

The Development Officer believed that now a waiting list had been established he could create a scoring sheet.

Mr Dendle suggested at a plan could be developed on where the Market should go.

(Councillor Ratcliff left the Meeting.)

Councillor Bushby suggested that the Officers take the lead with Market Management Committee overview. He felt the offer should be more diverse and provide a good range.

30.     CONFIDENTIAL ITEMS TO BE TAKEN IN PART II

Proposed by Councillor Herron, 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)

31.     CHAIRMAN’S REPORT

There is a confidential minute associated with this item.

32.     TENANT / TRADER

There is a confidential minute associated with this item.

33.     RETURN TO STANDING ORDERS

Proposed by Councillor Heron, 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 8.27 pm.

 

Table Showing the Pannier Market Accounts as at 19 August 2021

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