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DRAFT Market Management Committee Minutes - 27 May 2021

Written by Claire Parsons. Posted in Market Management Minutes

Minutes of the Market Management Committee held in the Town Hall on Thursday 27 May 2021 at 6.30 pm

PRESENT:

North Ward:

Councillor D Bushby
Councillor J Herron

East Ward:

Councillor Mrs L Hellyer
Councillor J McKenzie (Chairman)

West Ward:

Councillor C Hawkins
Councillor D Ratcliff

Market (Hall) Tenants: Mrs Morgan

IN ATTENDANCE:

Mr R Coombes (Deputy Town Clerk)
Mr C Farris (Development Officer)
1 x Tenant
1 x Member of the Public

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: 5, Against: 0)

2.     TO ELECT A DEPUTY CHAIRMAN

Councillor Herron was proposed by Councillor Ratcliff and seconded by Councillor Bushby.

RESOLVED: That Councillor Herron is appointed Deputy Chairman of the Committee for the coming year.

Vote: For: 5, Against: 0)

3.     APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

No apologies were received.

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

Mrs Hilton (Tenant) advised that only one trader attends the Market on a Tuesday and two on a Saturday. She volunteered to help distribute flyers by physically handing them out, in the Town, to gain attention from customers and traders.

She spoke of being a member of the now defunct North Devon Craft believing that those former crafters, looking for a venue could be reached out to operate from the Market. She felt also that the Torridge Arts and Crafts members could be individually offered the opportunity to operate as Market Crafters, trading in the Market under a “craft fair” banner, as opposed to market trader.

Mrs Hilton suggested that the three month trading offer for the price of one could be repackaged as an offer to trade for the summer – June to August for the price of one month.

(Councillor Mrs Hellyer joined the Meeting.)

The Development Officer recognised the issues and welcomed the ideas.

The Clerk wondered if the Crafters would be open to a non-Market trading day during the summer, noting the traditional Saturday turnover day.

6.    MINUTES

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

(Vote – For: 6, Against: 0)

7.    ACCOUNTS

Members noted that Trade Waste payment to North Devon Council detailing other firms that could be considered in the future.

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

RESOLVED: That the lists of payments for 27 May 2021 be approved.

(Vote – For: 6, Against: 0)

8.   CHAIRMAN’S / MARKET ADMINISTRATOR’S REPORT

There was no report.

9.    DEVELOPMENT OFFICER.

a.    Introduction. The Development Officer advised that he had a twenty year connection with the Market prior to his engagement with the Council, been afforded a warm welcome by his new colleagues and enjoyed engaging with the Market Square Tenants. He pointedly referred to the “Market Square,” believing it to be an inclusive address, referring to the footprint of the building, encompassing all of the elements that together make up the destination.

The Development Officer then provided a fulsome and dynamic report which is enclosed and forms part of these Minutes.

Discussion followed where Members highlighted the merit in utilising the Hall as a venue for the showing of films (opportunity for the local film club), wedding receptions (St Mary’s very much on side – potential to license as a marriage venue), bike show / auto jumble.

Councillor Hawkins noted that the Officer’s hours, fourteen a week, meant that there were limitations to be considered.

Councillor Bushby felt that Committee members and tenants, given a brief could be called in to help; he indicated that the Development Officer should not hesitate to ask for support. He noted, also that TDC were looking for a venue to hold public meetings.

The Development Officer indicated that it could provide for a wider community hub, hosting COVID-19 vaccinations and voting / polling.

b.    Market Hall Tariffs.

The Development Officer explained that he made a local audit and price comparison for the hiring of halls. He believed that the current pricing for the Market Hall needed updating. He indicated that the facility was too large to simply charge per hour, half and full days were far more manageable.

The Development Officer provided Members with the following detail, stating half day and full day rates for different interests with the equivalent hourly rate.

 

Table showing proposal for market hall tariffs with half day and full day rates for different interests with the equivalent hourly rate

The Development Officer suggested that the rates be regarded as post COVID-19 and are subsequently reviewed (perhaps, within a year or two).

Proposed by Councillor McKenzie, and seconded by Councillor Mrs Hellyer, and

RESOLVED: That the above stated rates are endorsed and subject to review.

(Vote – For: 6, Against: 0)

c.     Welcome Back Fund.

The Development Officer explained that the Welcome Back Fund is providing councils with funding to support the safe return to high streets and help build back better from the pandemic. It follows on from monies previously allocated to Councils from the Reopening High Street Safely Fund.

The funding has been allocated to TDC who are entering into Service Level Agreements (SLA) with Parish / Town Councils who in turn develop ideas which, if agreed by TDC, they can proceed with, pay up front costs and submit claims subsequently.

Many of the thoughts put forward at a recent SF&GP Meeting were not eligible – there is a twenty four page guide that gives detail. Free taster sessions cannot be offered i.e. free stalls at the Market; the provision is state aid, local Government cannot support one over another i.e. those already paying for stalls.

Officers of the Council cannot be involved with the planning / staging of an Event. The most “clean” and simple way to stage an Event is to tender out: a brief providing date, budget and other criteria. It will need to be advertised widely and detail on how those submitted are assessed, feasibility, affordability etc. will need to be evidenced.

He spoke of the procurement process indicating that a purchase, for example of planters at the gateway to Bideford, if over £2,499.00 would need three quotations.

The documentation for tenders must satisfy TDC in order for progression of any ideas; the Council will need to work closely with TDC, notwithstanding the SLA. (The Development Officer indicated that he had held talks with the responsible officer.)

The Clerk indicated that there had been a suggestion to hire an Event Manager, through the Procurement Process, to deliver an Event in the Market and support others in the Town albeit temporary, in line with the guidelines.

Councillor Bushby indicated that the Council have experience through the annual grants process and delivering the Christmas Lights Switch on Event.

The Development Officer spoke about “due diligence,” and the need to ensure each detail covered even down to the font size of the Government sponsors. He reiterated that the timescales were short and requested a devolvement of authority from the Committee to progress Welcome Back opportunities that can benefit the Market.

Proposed by Councillor Ratcliff, seconded by Councillor Bushby and

RESOLVED: That authority is devolved to the Market Management Committee Chairman, the Development Officer and the Clerk to progress, as part of an overall Council approach, a Welcome Back bid. The Committee are updated accordingly.

(Vote – For: 6, Against: 0)

10.     NEW TENANCY / LEASE AGREEMENT ROLL OUT

The Clerk explained to the new Committee Members the development of the Tenancy Agreement (effective 1 April 2021), based on the NABMA template, the Committee’s consideration / resolutions, subsequent delay and present roll out. The motivation was to have each tenant on the same agreement, across the Complex. The weekly hour commitment had been reduced from 30 to 25, Tuesdays through to Saturdays in a move to ensure that the Market was a visitor destination that would be open during the core hours.

Each tenant had received a soft copy prior to 1 April 2021 which allowed for detail changes / corrections and updates on individual information.

Signed by the Chairman, the Clerk and the Tenant, most had been returned although others had intimated agreement. A few tenants had sought assurances, only one had indicated they would not sign. (The Clerk suggested that a meeting is arranged between the Chairman and the individual tenant.)

It is a two year tenancy that allows for the Council to advertise a Unit and invite viewings at the 18 month point.

In reply to some concern the Clerk advised that he would invite the Tenants to confirm their desire to extend their tenancy for a further two years at the 17 month point.

Councillor Bushby stated that it was important to keep agreements, simple and questioned the need for a specific two year time frame.

The Chairman reiterated that it was based on the NABMA template, but the terms could be reviewed in advance of the anniversary.

The Clerk indicated that originally the Committee favoured that the Market Tenants should trade Tuesday through to Saturday with a minimum core hour of 10.00 am to 3.00 pm.

It was resolved, though that trading would be from Tuesday through to Saturday with a minimum core hour of 10.00 am to 3.00 pm, tenants would be restricted to two days a month absence where they intended to trade or exhibit elsewhere. “Schedule Four” of the Agreement did allow for tenant absences in the light of leave, sickness, medical appointments etc. He wondered if the Committee should like to remove the restriction, “to two days a month absence where they intended to trade or exhibit elsewhere.”

Mrs Morgan spoke of a tenant, who did trade on a Thursday morning, elsewhere but who actively spread the word and sought to encourage traders to consider the Bideford Pannier Market (currently working on purveyors of chocolate and cheese!). She advised that the fellow Market Hall Tenants did cover the individual’s absence.

Councillor Mrs Hellyer while welcoming the potential chocolate and cheese introduction believed that the Tenancy agreement detail should not be changed at this challenging moment but left for a later review.

Discussion followed generally on the influx of visitors, signage, advertising on the Quay and directions to the Market.

11.    NABMA ANNUAL CONFERENCE

Councillors McKenzie and Bushby led discussion on the benefits of attendance at the NABMA Annual Conference; this year it will be held, again in Stratford Upon Avon between 11 and 12 October 2021.

Proposed by Councillor Mrs Hellyer, seconded by Councillor Bushby and

RESOLVED: That the Development Officer attend NABMA Annual Conference 11 – 12 October 2021. Travelling expenses (mileage restricted to rail journey tariff) and subsistence costs will be met by the Council.

(Vote – For: 6, Against: 0)

12.    TENANT / TRADER REPORT

a.     Report.

Mrs Morgan reiterated her fellow tenant’s concern at the lack of traders and the urgent need resolve the issue.

She requested that trader information / application forms are displayed in the Market Hall.

There was a need for updated leaflets to be circulated as a number of establishments had detail that was out of date and was a source of frustration for visitors.

Mrs Morgan believed that the minibus operation worked well, again noting that visitors had waited in vain for collection from the Quay. The Chairman confirmed that the owners similarly had ceased to operate.

She indicated that tenants had brought in surplus plants and produce to sell noting the popularity of market fruit and vegetables.

The Clerk indicated that approaches should be made to TDC to ensure compliance with the sale of food, noting that the WI had to indicate provenance. The Development Officer confirmed that there were regulations to satisfy for the sale of food and produce.

The Clerk suggested that Mill Street bakers and grocers could be approached to sell at the Market, if not in person, then boxes of items. Businesses of Bideford and the Chamber could be approached.

Further discussion followed on the use of the Council’s interactive board to provide Market information and other visual pointers drawing visitors from the Town.

b.     Election.

The Chairman believed that the Market Complex would be best served with two tenant representatives on the Committee.

(Councillor Hawkins left the room.)

The Clerk indicated that throughout the Lockdown periods / COVID-19 pandemic he had corresponded with all tenants via E Mail. He would canvas potential Committee Members and arrange a date to hold an election, obtaining a ballot box from TDC to enable votes to be cast.

Proposed by Councillor McKenzie, seconded by Councillor Mrs Hellyer and

RESOLVED: That an election is held to provide for two Market Complex tenants to be (non-voting) representatives on the Market Management Committee.

(Vote – For: 5, Against: 0)

(Councillor Hawkins returned.)

13.    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: 6, Against: 0)

PART II (CLOSED SESSION)

THERE IS A SEPARATE CONFIDENTIAL SET OF MINUTES FOR THE CLOSED SESSION (14 – 15)

16.     RETURN TO STANDING ORDERS

Proposed by Councillor McKenzie, seconded and

RESOLVED: That the meeting returns to Standing Orders.

(Vote For: 6, Against: 0)

The business of the meeting having been completed, the Chairman thanked the members for their attendance and the meeting concluded at 8.40 pm.

 

Pannier Market Accounts presented to committee for approval as at 27 May 2021

 

 Minute Number 9.  DEVELOPMENT OFFICER PRESENTATION

 The pdf of the presentation can be found here


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