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Minutes of the Market Management Committee Meeting held in the Council Chamber of the Town Hall, Bideford, on Thursday 27 February 2020 at 6.30 pm

PRESENT:

East Ward

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

South Ward

Councillor R Wootton

West Ward

Councillor Mrs K Corfe
Councillor C J Hawkins

Market Hall Mrs G Morgan Mr B Sidwell

Butchers Row Megan Hurford (substitute for Miss K la Fontaine)

IN ATTENDANCE:

Mr R Coombes (Deputy Town Clerk)
Mr A Curtis (Maintenance Supervisor)
Councillor J Herron
Councillor P Lawrence
2 x Tenant

 

112.    APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

Miss K la Fontaine.

113.    DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST ON ITEMS ON THE AGENDA

There were no declarations of interest.

114.    PUBLIC PARTICIPATION PERIOD

a.       Councillor Herron suggested that the Commercial rental charge for the Market Hall should be lowered to encourage interest, albeit the present rate was not excessive.

b.       Ms Davies, a tenant, advocated seeking to convert the Market to a Heritage Building. She spoke of how the structure is admired and that the footfall would increase with a change in status. She had liaised with the Conservation Officer.

Councillor Mrs Corfe asked if Ms Davies knew the process – she didn’t but reiterated her engagement with the Conservation Officer.
Ms Davies noted that visitors whilst admiring the windows and structure of the beautifully built building took photographs. The change would provide an opportunity for traders to generate income.

c.       Ms Hilton, a second tenant, introduced herself to the Committee and explained that there remained a negative atmosphere noting that newly introduced traders were not returning.

She had shared on social media, everywhere she could, inviting new trader interest / application, however, the Market appeared imbued with bad karma.

Ms Davies observed visitors noting the few traders questioning what was going on, despite the Studio Units being open and attended.

The Chairman acknowledged that progress would be slow, it was anticipated that after Easter there would be a change and a targeting of specific traders.

Councillor Mrs Hellyer noted that Saturday had been lovely but had been immune to the negativity. Ms Hilton explained that a trader had indicated that they would not return; people were slow to purchase.

Councillor Lawrence indicated that the weather was not helping, footfall was down. He expressed positivity for the longer term but considered the present to be challenging.

Mr Sidwell forecast further storms, it was a case of grin and bear it.

Mrs Morgan referenced the chicken and egg, little footfall to attract traders, not sufficient traders to attract footfall.

d. Ms Davies highlighted the Market flyer, observing the elements and authority behind the choice of photographs. The Clerk indicated that the photographs had been sourced from those who had patronised the Market, explicitly for the purpose of promotion.

115.     MINUTES

The Minutes of the Meeting held on 16 January 2020 were approved and signed as a correct record.

(Vote – For: 5, Against: 0, Abstention: 1)

116.     CHAIRMAN’S / MARKET ADMINISTRATOR’S REPORT

The Clerk advised:

a.        That the Bideford Phoenix Morris would be dancing at 11.00 am, on 29 February 2020 in aid of North Devon Hospice.

b.        Dormakaba had adjusted the doors to establish a capacity 440 personnel, which had been subsequently certified by “Building Regulations”.

117.     ACCOUNTS

It was proposed by Councillor Mackenzie, seconded and

RESOLVED: That the list of payments be approved.

(Vote – For: 6, Against: 0)

118.   TENANCY AT WILL / LEASE AGREEMENT

a.      Tenancy at Will / Lease Agreement.

Councillor Lawrence (Market Place Tenant) expressed his concern with regard the opening hours and the core hours in particular. While he felt twenty-five hours was reasonable, he indicated that the change in the seasons impacted upon the viability of his business. He suggested that the core hours of 10 am to 3 pm should be restricted to Market Trading days only.

Ms Hurford disagreed stating that for the Market, generally, the core hours should run from the Tuesday through to the Saturday, guaranteeing full attendance for the visitor.

Members considered Schedule 4 that provided for Units to be legitimately closed. They underlined that notification of absence should be given to the Market administrators and a notice should be appended to the demised premises.

Further consideration was given to the documents, received prior to the Meeting. Councillor Mrs Corfe sought to have the word “workmanlike” replaced. She indicated that pictures should be taken at the start and cessation of the tenancy to agree the condition of the Unit. Councillor Craigie looked to ensure that dates were effective for 2020. Members indicated the removal of conditions that were deemed already covered and unsuitable.

Proposed by Councillor McKenzie, seconded and

RESOLVED: That the Tenancy at Will / Lease Agreement be implemented for the Market Tenants, effective 1 April 2020.

(Vote – For: 6, Against: 0)

b.      Minimum Core Hours for Tenants.

Members noted the seasonal variations. Ms Hurford conceded that trading could be challenging during the cold winter months, with little footfall and poor retail but highlighted that the Tenants diversified, it wasn’t simply retail and that fabricating products and, in her case, along with others, she ran workshops. While Councillor Lawrence had indicated a drop in sales Ms Hurford recorded an improvement in a yearly comparison.

Ms Hurford believed that there should be a consistency in the opening times, that the core hours should remain 10 am to 3 pm Tuesday through to Saturday thereby the Market would remain a destination address.

Councillor Herron indicated that he should like to trade during the evenings.

Councillor Lawrence believed that throughout the summer months many, including himself, would be working much later and through the week reflecting the change in footfall.

Proposed by Councillor McKenzie, seconded and

RESOLVED: That the Tenant must keep the Premises open for business for a minimum of 25 hours per week, to include a minimum commitment of 10.00 am – 3.00 pm on Tuesdays and Saturdays.

(Vote – For: 6 , Against: 0)

119.     VE DAY COMMEMORATION – 8 MAY 2020 - UPDATE

Members had received an itinerary prior to the Meeting – there was no further update.

120.    MARKET HALL TARIFFS

Ms Hurford had noted the facilities offered by the Bideford Burton and the price variation for commercial, educational, community and evening bookings.

Having spoken to the organisation behind the New Year’s Eve Party in the Hall and a yoga instructor he advised that an hourly rate of £10.00 would appear competitive; Councillor Craigie suggested that it could be increased as time developed. Ms Hurford warned against setting the price too cheaply.

The Clerk explained that the long-standing arrangement for the Kenwith Company of Archers that provided for them to have key access. It would be unfair and not practical for it to be beholden upon the Market Officer provide access and secure the building out of hours on a regular basis. He had approached Guarantor Security Ltd, who secure the Town Hall and various TDC concerns.

The Maintenance Supervisor indicated that the (Maintenance) team, including the Market Officer, could operate a cover schedule if a key holder could not be identified.

Proposed by Councillor McKenzie, seconded and

RESOLVED: That an hourly rate be set at £20.00.

(Vote – For: 6, Against: 0)

121.     TENANT / TRADER REPORTS

Ms Morgan indicated that while the Studio Tenants remained positive, and had seen visitors, more traders were needed.

122.     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 / traders were instructed to withdraw.

(Vote – For: 6, Against: 0)

123.     PART II (CLOSED SESSION)

THERE IS A SEPARATE CONFIDENTIAL SET OF MINUTES FOR THE CLOSED SESSION (124 – 126).

127.     Proposed by Councillor McKenzie, seconded and

RESOLVED: That the meeting returns to Standing Orders.

(Vote For: 6, 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 8.28 pm.

 

Draft Pannier Market Accounts for approval at the Market Management Committee Meeting on 27 February 2020

Accounts Market Management 27 February 2020


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