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Minutes of the Market Management Committee Meeting held in the Council Chamber of the Town Hall, Bideford, on Thursday 6 December 2018 at 6.30 pm


North Ward

Councillor D Bushby
Councillor P Pester (Substitute for Councillor T Johns)

East Ward

Councillor Mrs R Craigie
Councillor J McKenzie

South Ward

Councillor D Brenton (Chairman)

Market Hall
Ms B de Noronha

Butchers Row
Mr M Dendle

Market Place
Mr P Lawrence

IN ATTENDANCE: Mr R Coombes (Deputy Town Clerk)


Councillors B Wootton (South Ward – personal) and T Johns North Ward).


There were no declarations of interest.


There were no Members of the Public in attendance.

110.      MINUTES

The Minutes of the Meeting held on 25 October 2018 were approved and signed as a correct record.

(Vote – For: 5, Against: 0)


Minute 88. Proposal to hold a table top / sale day to be held during the period 23 – 29 December 2018 run by Market Tenants, Mr Lawrence and Mrs Fisher. Mr Lawrence had not envisaged “hiring” the Hall and arranging insurance cover. The Table Top Sale provided an opportunity for Mrs Fisher to continue trading during the break, he said.

Discussion ensued that included reviewing the basis on the Committee’s decision to close the Market from cease of trading on 22 December 2018 to 2 January 2019, the requirement for all those trading to have public liability insurance, the potential to offer the Market’s Taster insurance, the number of those committed to trading, security of the building and Mrs Fisher losing three “lucrative” days of trading.

The Chairman confirmed that the Market Hall will remain closed from after trading on Saturday 22 December 2018 and reopen for trading on Wednesday 2 January 2019.

112.      ACCOUNTS

It was proposed by Councillor Bushby, seconded and

RESOLVED: That the list of payments be approved.

(Vote – For: 5, Against: 0)


The Market Administrator advised that one of the Manor Court presentments requested that a fountain be purchased and sited in the centre of Town in an effort to remove plastic waste. A fountain has been purchased, however, it is not suitable for outdoors, it could, though be plumbed into the Market Hall, at no (total) cost to the Market, enabling the Council to comply with the request. Would the Committee like to take up this offer / opportunity?

Councillor Bushby confirmed the unsuitability for siting the fountain outside.

The Chairman indicated that the offer should be placed on the Agenda for the next Meeting of the Market Management Committee, 17 January 2019.


The Market Administrator advised that no submission had been received.


Members had sight of correspondence from NABMA asking whether Members might be willing to help in funding legal advice to support the case, and persuade the Treasury, that markets should continue to enjoy an exemption from VAT. Their suggestion was to add between £100 and £500 to next year’s membership subscription to create sufficient funds for NABMA to resource their campaign.

Councillor Wootton had indicated support for a £100 contribution in abesntia.

Proposed by Councillor Bushby, seconded and

RESOLVED: That the Committee will support the “fighting fund” with an agreement to add £200 to next year’s membership subscription.

(Vote – For: 5, Against: 0)


Mr Avis had requested to hire the Market Hall for the Bideford Flower Show on Sunday, 18 August 2019.

Proposed by Councillor Brenton, seconded and

RESOLVED: That the Bideford Flower Show is held in the Market Hall on Sunday 18 August 2019.

(Vote – For: 5, Against: 0)

117.      STAIR LIFT

Mr Dendle advised that Devonshire Assisted Living had advised him to contact an Andover based firm, Platform Lift, who subsequently agreed to provide a quotation (at no cost).


Councillor McKenzie intimated that there had been an exchange between two tenants over the seeming lack of control exercised over the one Tenant’s hounds.

The Market Administrator confirmed that a food outlet tenant had expressed concern at a number of instances where a fellow tenant’s dogs had not been tethered and approached, and indeed on one occasion managed to enter, his food preparation area and ate something he had dropped.

Apologies had been made although the Tenant remained upset. The Market Administrator advised that he too had spoken to the dog owning Tenant who was apologetic.

He advised Members on the journey that had seen dogs having been granted access to the Market Hall and Butcher’s Row when tethered; he indicated that there were a minority of tenants who brought their respective dogs to work, in contravention of the Tenancy Agreement – that had not been upheld by the Market Administrator / Officer. He indicated that the change had been beneficial to the Market.

Discussion followed on the need for control, it was not acceptable for tenants to allow their dog to wander (into other Units / open thoroughfare), it remained a breach of contract, the issue had been explored previously, the use of cages, there are those who do not like dogs and those that are allergic to them.

Councillor Pester stated that where there is a breach of rules there could be no second chance.

Councillor Bushby indicated that were the Committee mindful to change the ruling then the dogs should be tethered at all times, they would not be allowed to wander freely, the Tenant must keep them under control; the Council will be vigorous and ruthless in applying the ruling.

Proposed by Councillor Bushby, seconded and

RESOLVED: That Market Hall Tenants are allowed to take their dogs to their Units, but under strict control, the dogs must be tethered at all times – not able to wander freely. In the event of non-compliance, nuisance the concession will be withdrawn. The ruling is to be strictly applied. Tenants must safeguard visitors and themselves.

(Vote – For: 5, Against: 0)


a.         Mr Dendle had met with Mr Fuller (Economic Development Officer, TDC) who indicated that there was a £25 million “Future High Streets Fund” for local regeneration. Detail and the mechanism for drawing down of monies was not available, though.

b.         The Chairman thanked Mr Dendle for condensing the Development Plan that had been distributed and is recorded below (1 – 8).

1.         To promote and develop the market as a North Devon centre for excellence in arts and crafts. To establish Bideford Market as a "must visit" attraction.

2.         To do this in conjunction with promoting and developing the existing market, shops and food outlets.

3.         To employ and fund a development officer to pursue and achieve the above, the appointee to be in post for 01 March 2019.

4.         To redesign, co-ordinate and harmonise all publicity material and outlets, including the online presence.

5.         To encourage actively the recruitment of new tenants and traders in the arts and crafts. To meet prospective tenants / traders and view their work.

6.         To establish a regular programme of focussed market events and promotional activities, to take place on a minimum of alternate Saturdays.

7.         To make more use of the market hall as a significant public space. To reconnect the venue with the community it serves.

8.         To improve access for visitors with disabilities.

Note.   All references to the Market include Butchers Row and Market Place Shop Units.

He indicated that the Plan was a basis upon which to engage a Market Event Manager.

Ms de Noranha referred Members to paragraph six - the Chairman indicated that it was an aspiration, a variety of interests could be drawn from social and charitable groups.

Discussion followed on paragraph five and prospective new tenants; Ms de Noranha warned against elitism.

The Market Administrator referenced paragraph three highlighting that the Committee were engaged with the installation of “inner doors” to the Market Hall, the combined cost of which would exceed £35,000.00. This would limit the Market’s ability to finance an additional employee.

Councillor Bushby indicated that engaging a further employee of a given calibre would not be sustainable. The salary would have to be “reasonable”; he did not believe that the

additional employee could be financed alongside the Market Officer.

The Chairman stated that the position would be income generating and the contract “fixed term.”

Mr Dendle added that the Job Description would highlight the need for social and personnel skills that would demand a good salary.

Councillor Bushby noted that a fixed term contract would provide the expectation that the candidate would earn their own salary; there would have to be an increase in footfall. Mr Dendle agreed that part of the remit would be to fund the position. Councillor McKenzie referred Members to the Project Manager position at Tavistock, whose contract was three years, their success would confirm (the offer of) a permanent position.

The Chairman had been in contact with Petroc regarding their Event Management course and confirmed that there is interest “in the area”.

Mr Lawrence noted that footfall was down, despite the car parks being full, and on a personal note stated that his Shop / Unit would not be viable without recourse to online sales.

Mr Dendle believed that the status quo (making no change / no development) was not sustainable.

Councillor Bushby reiterated his message from the NABMA Conference citing an example of leafleting where a cutback in distribution had a dramatic negative impact. The Chairman reflected on the Committee’s decision to not continue (with leafleting).

Councillor Bushby agreed that a Development Manager would provide a more professional approach intimating that the Market Hall was a large space with potential.

Ms de Noranha while conceding that the Market benefited financially from the Kenwith Company of Archers patronage on a Tuesday and Thursday evening the physical moving of the stalls was a bind. Members discussed the need for other Markets’ Traders to clear at cease trading; the Market Administrator indicated that the not having to at Bideford did add to the appeal (to trade).

Councillor Bushby suggested that the views of the Traders had not been canvassed. He advised that without engaging fully in exploiting the Hall (paragraph seven) it would not be possible to engage a Development Manager (paragraph three).

Mr Lawrence noted that the Hall was the biggest space, yet the remainder of the Complex generate eighty per cent of the income. He reiterated to bring someone in without access to the Market Hall area would again not be viable.

Members discussed the Hall dynamic and the desire to try new initiatives to promote and develop the Market. Ms de Noranha spoke about working with the Traders, a Sunday joint community event and the poor support for the Late Night Shopping Event.

Proposed by Councillor Brenton, seconded and

RESOLVED: That the Development Working Group document is adopted as a basis to work from.

(Vote – For: 5, Against: 0)


Mr Lawrence provided Members with a proposal for a Pannier Market Social Media Strategy (replicated below).

“Currently we have a Facebook page for the Pannier Market as a whole, with a number of admins all of whom post independently of each other. There is also a Market Hall Page and a Butchers Row Craft group. There is also a Twitter feed which is not used that much, but again several people post separately. This current set up leads to a mish mash of postings (including some duplicates) and a disjointed approach to the promotion of the businesses and events taking place within the facility.

What I would like to propose is that from January 1st we appoint one admin for the main Facebook and Twitter feeds (with a sub for the odd occasions it is needed) and start to produce a cohesive flow of information to the public, showing a united front from all concerned. I also propose we close the Market Hall Facebook page and look in to the need for a Butchers Row group (with the ultimate aim of closing that also).

There would not be an automatic reposting of every business, within the facilities posts, as this can give the wrong impression about what is on offer and after all that is what our individual feeds are for. I think there should be a more generic approach so that the public get a flavour for what is available rather than a specific business promotion although we will still do this just not as often.

In order to facilitate the flow of information between the businesses, officers and councillors I also propose we open a closed group that would allow dialogue between the relevant parties to produce this united front and let the admin know what is going on. Posts within this group would only be seen by the invited members and is a great tool for the integration and communication within any organisation. I am sure it would be an advantage in the scenario I am suggesting.

I am happy to put myself forward to start the ball rolling so to speak, but ultimately this role should be taken over by the proposed Market co-ordinator role as it really should be part of that paid position if done properly.”

Discussion followed that highlighted the one focus – promotion of the Market as a whole – with one controlling person administering an organised and structured approach. Mr Lawrence volunteered himself for the primary Administrative role, Ms de Noranha agreed to be the secondary Administrator. Mr Lawrence agreed to help draft a letter to be distributed to all Market Tenants / Traders advising and explaining the course of action.

Proposed by Councillor Brenton, seconded and

RESOLVED: That effective 1 January 2019, the Bideford Pannier Market Facebook and Twitter accounts will be restricted to two Administrative Controllers: Mr P Lawrence and Ms de Noranha.

(Vote – For: 5, Against: 0)


Ms de Noranha:

a.       The Sunday Market had proved successful although some hasty liaison work was demanded for the main player in Santa’s Grotto following a last-minute shortfall.

b.        Late Night Tuesday Shopping was disappointing, in the Market Hall (and Town); it was felt that in the future more effort should be invested in the Sunday (Light’s Switch On) and no extension to the normal Tuesday opening hours.

c.        Advised Members that the table selling donated items for Devon Air Ambulance would now be administered by Market Hall Tenants Messrs O’Hara and Bailey.

d.        Requested that the Committee support an appropriate farewell initiative for a trader, having traded at the Market for over sixteen years, who will be retiring on 22 December 2018.

The Chairman led the Committee in agreeing to make a payment of £50.00 by way of supporting the Traders in their farewell to a long term, committed trader.

e.        Noted that the Council (Market pages) were out of date.

f.         Storage. Following discussion, the Chairman agreed to meet in the Market Hall to consider possible options.

g.        Mr Dendle advised that Devon Life will be publishing an article on the Market in the February 2019 Edition; Mr Sidwell would be arranging a group photograph.


Proposed by Councillor Brenton, 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: 5, Against: 0)



Members considered quotations for scaffolding that will provide access to the gable end of the second bay roof (from the Southern end, East side) of the Pannier Market for general repairs.

Proposed by Councillor Brenton, seconded and

RESOLVED: That Barton (05) Scaffolding Ltd be invited to supply the Scaffolding in accordance with their quotation.

(Vote – For: 5, Against: 0)


Members considered quotations for an Electrical Condition Report.

The Chairman highlighted a recent storm that had seen water ingress trip one unit’s electrical supply and not another (an electrician has subsequently inspected both units).

Councillor Bushby noted from previous experience the size of the task at hand.

Proposed by Councillor Brenton, seconded and

RESOLVED: That Ashton Electrical be invited to complete the Electrical Condition Report in accordance with their quotation.

(Vote – For: 5, Against: 0)

126.     INNER DOORS

Members considered quotations and supporting paperwork from two architects to submit Listed Building Consent application, with associated paperwork, for the new inner doors.

Proposed by Councillor Brenton, seconded and

RESOLVED: That Philip Price Surveyors Ltd be invited to submit the Listed Building Consent application, with associated paperwork, for the new inner doors in accordance with their quotation.

(Vote – For: 5, Against: 0)


The Market Administrator provided Members with the VAT report that had been commissioned in response to installing a solar pv array on the Market and implications of the Dotto train.

Members noted the report.


The Market Administrator advised that only one application had been received for the soon to be vacant 24 Butcher’s Row Shop Unit, despite several enquiries.

Proposed by Councillor Busby, seconded and

RESOLVED: That Mr A Duplock is offered the tenancy to 24 Butcher’s Row Shop Unit.

(Vote – For: 5, Against: 0)


The Market Administrator advised that the rent was up to date for the time of month.

The Chairman, having established that there was no further business to discuss, thanked the Members for their attendance and concluded the Meeting at 8.11 pm.

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