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Minutes of the Market Management Committee held in the Council Chamber of the Town Hall on Thursday 26 May 2022 at 6.30 pm
 
PRESENT:
 
North Ward:
 
Councillor D Bushby
 
East Ward:
 
Councillor Mrs J Gubb (Town Mayor)
Councillor J McKenzie (Chairman)
 
West Ward:
 
Councillor C Hawkins
 
Market (Hall) Tenants:
 
Ms la Fontaine
 
IN ATTENDANCE:
 
Mr R Coombes (Deputy Town Clerk)
Mr C Farris (Development Officer)
 
1.     TO ELECT A CHAIRMAN
 
Councillor McKenzie was proposed by Councillor Bushby and seconded by Councillor Hawkins.
 
RESOLVED: That Councillor McKenzie is appointed Chairman of the Committee for the coming year.
 
Vote: For: 4, Against: 0)
 
2.     TO ELECT A DEPUTY CHAIRMAN
 
Councillor Hawkins was proposed by Councillor Busby and seconded by Councillor Mrs Gubb.
 
RESOLVED: That Councillor Hawkins is appointed Deputy Chairman of the Committee for the coming year.
 
Vote: For: 4, Against: 0)
 
3.     APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
 
Councillors Mrs Hellyer (East Ward – DCC Meeting) and Herron (North Ward – personal).
 
4.     DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST AND ANY REQUESTS FOR DISPENSATION ON ITEMS ON THE AGENDA
 
There were no declarations of interest.
 
5.     PUBLIC PARTICIPATION SESSION OF 15 MINUTES DURATION
 
There were no members of the Public in attendance.
 
6.     MINUTES
 
Proposed by Councillor McKenzie and seconded by Councillor Bushby, the Minutes of the Meeting held on 14 April 2022 were approved and signed as a correct record.  
 
(Vote – For: 4, Against: 0) 
 
7.     ACCOUNTS
 
It was proposed by Councillor McKenzie and seconded by Councillor Bushby, and
 
RESOLVED:  That the lists of payments for 26 May 2022 be approved.
 
(Vote – For: 4, Against: 0)
 
8.     CHAIRMAN’S / MARKET ADMINISTRATOR’S REPORT
 
The Clerk advised that letters addressing the Commitment to Core Hours had been distributed; the Café facility will open on Thursdays.
 
The Development Officer reaffirmed the need for the Core Hours to be met as there had been a number of negative Google reviews indicating that the Market was shut.
 
9.     DEVELOPMENT OFFICER.
 
a.     Market Memories.  The Development Officer described the Heritage Event to be organised by the Burton.  He explained that he had designed a project to collect the memories of the Market visitors over the years.  There was a danger that the memories of grandparents, parents and children would be lost.
 
He had completed an Historic England Grant application, tailor made for the Market – recording the interaction and exploration of communities, their stories with Heritage Sites and buildings.  The Bid had to be submitted by 23 May 2022 and has been taken on by the Burton, given that he will soon be relinquishing his post.  As grant holder the Burton will have responsibility to engage a coordinator and project manage the written, audio and video records of people over a three to four month period.
 
An exhibition will be hosted for six months culminating in a legacy event at the Market.  Confirmation of funding will be in the autumn with memories obtained for spring next year.  There has been huge engagement on social media in relation to the historic Market.
 
The funding request from the Committee, in conjunction with additional Burton funding, would go to providing for an Historical Event; he had sounded out “Historical Promotions,” who operate from Petrockstowe and present period / historical people / characters.
 
Should the £9,600.00 grant funding not be secured there would not be a draw on the Council funding.
 
It was proposed by Councillor McKenzie seconded by Councillor Bushby, and
 
RESOLVED:  That £1,000.00 towards supporting the delivery of the Market Event is ringfenced from the Special Projects Budget, subject to match funding from the Burton and securing of the Heritage Grant.
 
(Vote – For: 4, Against: 0)
 
b.     A year in post.  The Development Officer described his experience as being interesting, good and varied.  He spoke of setting out to market the whole complex as a destination for people to go.
 
The recent arrival of fresh fruit and vegetables for five days a week was an important development.  The Development Officer would like to see the trader offer “farm boxes,” aping a similar, successful venture at Tiverton Market.  He spoke of entreaties made toward the Appledore Bakery in order for them to sell or allow their products to be sold in the Market.  
 
The profile of the Market has been raised across Bideford; people have positively reengaged.  He conceded that it was a tricky time for the Market but that it was important for the momentum to be maintained; Events have helped.
 
He concluded that he had enjoyed working with the Council staff, councillors and Market stakeholders.
 
c.     Present and future potential for the Market.  The opportunity now presented is to run own / “in-house,” Events.  
 
The Easter Sunday Farmers’ Market was a gamble, yet fourteen local traders committed, from Bude to Ilfracombe.  The day went well; there is a groundswell of alcohol producers ready to engage once the Alcohol Licence Application process is finally completed.  Potentially one could be run every four to six weeks.
 
There is also the potential to stage an event targeting “dog people,” “Pooches and Pets,” which will showcase services including kennels, grooming accessories, snacks, demonstrations and training; a fairly good response had been received when sounding out traders / exhibitors.
 
The Development Officer had been in talks with Clearwater and Barum Breweries with a view to holding a beer festival later this year.  He explained how a festival had been run where £10,000.00 worth of beer was purchased up front, with bar tokens (costing £1.07) sold for £4.00; food stands would also be introduced.  Unfortunately, Clearwater withdrew their support for organising an event, in the Market.
 
He indicated that producers / sellers could be brought in, there is much gin, rum, cider and beer being produced locally.
 
The Development Officer has produced written hand over notes giving detail of who we advertise with, contacts; the huge effort made was focused on bringing people in.
 
Interest is picking up on Saturday trading.  The Market Representative is organising the Late Night Shopping Event scheduled for Thursday, 9 June 2022.  The Torridge Arts are supporting the “Jubilee,” 4 June 2022 Market (which is full); they have scheduled 30 July 2022, also.
 
The Development Officer spoke of an advertising opportunity that led to general discussion on advertising and signage in the Town.
 
Councillor Bushby reiterated his desire for a four sided sign that would slip over the wrought iron post outside Lloyds Bank where the High Street meets Allhalland Street.  It would have detail including pictures of the Market.  He noted that visitors are often milling around with nothing to tell them where the Market is. 
 
The Chairman highlighted the finger posts, information signs in the Town and Grenville Street brickwork, stating Pannier Market with directional arrow (entrance to Café Collective).
 
Discussion followed on the need for the Market to be open; Ms la Fontaine alluded to the schism between the Tenants and the Council engendered from the perceived lack of support from the latter.  
 
The Development Officer stated that the Council can not support individual businesses; Councillor Bushby noted the general support including Market Hall internal doors and Wi Fi provision.
 
10.     TENANT / TRADER REPORT 
 
a.     Event layout.  Members noted the importance of layouts, maximizing the opportunities for those in attendance at Events.
 
b.     Report.
 
• Ms la Fontaine in response to the recent letter advising the importance of attendance to provide for and market a visitor attraction noted that there was no footfall leading to not opening.
 
Councillor Bushby suggested that if Tenants were not opening, they could not complain about a perceived lack of support.  The Market Complex had to be open, regardless.  He spoke of advertising and encouraging those to make the use of their time, on site.
 
The Development Officer highlighted that a large proportion do not advertise alluding to word of mouth.
 
Councillor Bushby believed more signs giving detail were needed (in the Town); targeted quality signage.
 
The Chairman noted that Devon County Council had had a purge on signs that would present hazards to the visually impaired.
 
Councillor Hawkins wondered about engaging someone to walk with a sandwich board.  The Clerk advised that this had happened in the past, through a tenant initiative, but insurance, health and safety implications resulted in the withdrawal.
 
Ms la Fontaine indicated that there were Allhalland and Mill Street shop keepers who would adopt and put a Market sign outside their premises.  She called for colourful signs with limited text, durable and robust.
 
Discussion followed where Members expressed their wholehearted desire for additional signage advertising the Market.  Ms la Fontaine alluded to previous enquiries / correspondence made with Roots Collective.  She would make further enquiries and provide detail for the Committee to consider.  
 
The Development Officer alluded to the concern who had produced banners recently.  He believed that those tenants that wanted to thrive and earn a living had a responsibility to promote themselves; it is in their own interest.
 
Councillor Hawkins recalled an opportunity to provide social media training.
 
The Development Officer advised that North Devon + had offered free two one hour’s sessions on Google, Facebook, Twitter yet there was no take up from the Market.  He noted also that only two tenants attended the recent Defibrillator training provided in the Market Hall.
 
Councillor Hawkins advised that TTVS would soon be offering free social media training.
 
Further discussion ensued on footfall, pre and post COVID-19, and the predilection of shopping online.
 
• Ms la Fontaine suggested that the Tuesday Market trading could be moved to a Thursday in the light of visitor interest.  
 
The Chairman noted that all the signage, advertising and information indicated the Tuesday (similarly the Market Charter).
 
• Ms la Fontaine raised points broadly about the future, the Development Officer position, events and speculated on a potential rent reduction.  
 
11.     NABMA ANNUAL CONFERENCE
 
Members discussed the benefits of attendance at the NABMA Annual Conference; this year it will be held, in Harrogate between 18 and 20 September 2022.
 
Proposed by Councillor McKenzie, seconded by Councillor Bushby and
 
RESOLVED:  That subject to other commitments Councillor Mrs Gubb attend NABMA Annual Conference 18 – 20 September 2022.  Travelling expenses (mileage restricted to rail journey tariff) and subsistence costs will be met by the Council.
 
(Vote – For: 4, Against: 0)
 
12.     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: 4, Against: 0)
 
PART II (CLOSED SESSION)
 
THERE IS A SEPARATE CONFIDENTIAL SET OF MINUTES FOR THE CLOSED SESSION (13 – 14)
 
15.     RETURN TO STANDING ORDERS
 
Proposed by Councillor McKenzie, seconded and
 
RESOLVED:  That the meeting returns to Standing Orders.
 
(Vote For: 4, Against: 0)
 
The business of the meeting having been completed, the Chairman thanked the members for their attendance and the meeting concluded at 7.48 pm.
 
A table showing the Pannier Market Accounts as at 26 May 2022

 

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