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Market Management Committee Minutes 21 September 2023

Written by Claire Parsons. Posted in Market Management Minutes

Minutes of the Market Management Committee held in the Council Chamber of the Town Hall on Thursday 21 September 2023 at 6.32 pm


North Ward:

Councillor D Bushby

East Ward:

Councillor J McKenzie (Town Mayor)
Councillor Mrs L Hellyer

South Ward

Councillor Ms R Clarke

West Ward

Councillor C Hawkins (Chairman)
Councillor T Inch (sub for Councillor Mrs Gubb)

Market Complex Councillor P Lawrence


Mr R Coombes (Deputy Town Clerk)
Councillor K Hind (North Ward)
4 x Tenants


Councillors Mrs Gubb (East Ward – personal) and S Inch (South Ward – personal). Ms Bennett sent apologies just prior to the Meeting but were not received until after the Meeting.


There were no declarations of interest.


A tenant fully understood the Committee’s direction (in trying to promote the Hall facility) but did not understand why this policy could not go hand in hand with a Tuesday and Saturday Market. He felt that some events were successful, and some were not.

The Chairman advised that the Committee had not chosen not to run Tuesday Markets.


Councillor Mrs Hellyer indicated that whilst listed as having attended the Meeting, she had not been in attendance.

The Clerk will correct the Minutes.

Proposed by Councillor Bushby and seconded by Councillor Hawkins, the Minutes of the Meeting held on 21 September 2023 were approved and signed as a correct record.

(Vote – For: 3, Against: 0, Abstentions: 3.)


Members discussed the prohibitive cost of an electric vacuum cleaner. Councillor Bushby would review the present item and look to recommend a manual push alternative.

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

RESOLVED: That the lists of payments for 21 September 2023 be approved.

(Vote – For: 6, Against: 0)


The Chairman indicated that he had been in correspondence with the Member Support / Business Development Manager of NMTF Ltd in terms of potential for the Market Hall. He indicated that they had experience in helping markets throughout the country. He would seek to arrange a suitable time / date to meet with them and convene the Working Group and Cooperative (Coop) Members.

Councillor Mrs Hellyer indicated that the Committee had never made the decision to cease Market trading on Tuesdays and Saturdays.  SWEMS had been seeking to run the Tuesday Market and the Cooperative Tenants had expressed an interest to take on the Tuesday Market.

The decision to promote the Hall as an Events facility, for other things, still provides for Market trading; the two remain compatible.

Councillor Bushby concurred, reiterating the desire for more Markets, not less but spoke of a realistic approach: winter, the cost of utilities – heating; Tuesday and Saturday Markets need to be sustainable, to pay for themselves / at least cover costs. He supported the running of successful markets, not simply a handful of traders in a large Hall.

Councillor McKenzie reminded Members of the incentives, including free rental, to encourage the take up of traders but to no avail.

Councillor T Inch raised a point of order, indicating the discussion was straying into the later, Notice of Motion, Agenda item.

The Chairman advised Members that at the recently held Regeneration Meeting the Board had agreed to reconsider the previously offered “match” funding contribution for the audio system.


Proposed by Councillor McKenzie, seconded by Councillor Mrs Hellyer and

RESOLVED: That the Town Clerk attend the Nabma Annual Conference 8 – 10 October 2023, in place of the Chairman. Travelling expenses (mileage restricted to rail journey tariff) and subsistence costs will be met by the Council).

(Vote – For:6, Against: 0)


Submission by Councillor K Hind.

“Bideford Town Council recognises that Bideford is a market town with a market charter granted by King Henry II in 1272 and therefore resolves to:

a.   To commit the Council to running whenever possible markets in the Pannier Market Hall on Tuesdays and Saturdays and any other days when this is deemed appropriate, to assist with the regeneration of the Town Centre.

b.   To work with outside organisations and businesses who wish to plan, organise and deliver such Tuesday and Saturday markets or on any other day.”

The Chairman invited Councillor Hind to support his proposal.

Councillor Hind stated how important the Pannier Market remains although noting the difficulty in trader recruitment / sustainment for regular weekly Tuesday / Saturday market trading.

The Motion provided for the option to retain and continue the Market trading offer of the past, “whenever possible.”

In terms of the future Levelling Up Partnership and Community improvements central to any engagement the Market must be at the Heart of the Regeneration.

He maintained that the Council makes sure that the Market continues; keep the option.

Councillor Mrs Hellyer seconded the Motion.

Councillor Bushby repeated that the Market Management Committee had not said no to Tuesday and Saturday trading, more markets if possible. The reality has seen a decline in trader numbers. There have to be sufficient numbers to meet running costs, utility / gas heater provision for the winter.

The Committee are happy to work with outside organisations. The Council have worked successfully with SWEMS, who have run successful Events throughout the area and with some successes in the Market.

There can be assistance in working with the Coop; there is, though no magic wand.

Councillor Hind reaffirmed, “wherever possible;” leave the option open.

Councillor Bushby noted that, “the door is not shut.”

Discussion followed:

• Opportunity for Coop to operate Market Hall on Tuesdays and free Saturdays.
o Vested interest to make markets work to benefit wider Complex.
• Impact of cost of living.
• Drop in footfall.
o No market impacts attraction.
o Potential to place stalls in Butcher’s Row.
• TDC arranged, successful Markets on the Quay.
• Incentives, flexibility on trading terms, costs have been tried but could not halt the slide in trader take up.
• Historical Charter is historical, terms of lease with Landlord provides authority.
• Reach covers areas of localised depravation; market offer lacks relevance.


Proposed by Councillor Hawkins, seconded by Councillor Bushby and

RESOLVED: that Standing Orders are suspended to allow for Members of the Public (Tenants) to contribute to the Notice of Motion item.

(Vote – For:5 Against: 1)

A tenant noted that Facebook notifications of Events are not passed to traders.

They could not understand why TDC host (Farmers’) Markets on the Quay yet the Hall is purpose built; could not the BTC / TDC councillors influence a change?

Councillor McKenzie noted that TDC do hold the authority to host markets and when approached the Farmers were not interested in the prospect, citing lack of footfall. Without traders there is not a market.

Councillor Bushby hoped that the Christmas Market scheduled for 9 December 2023 could be the catalyst for future market opportunities. The Quay did allow for traders to take vehicles next to their area of trading.

The Tenant noted that parking shouldn’t simply be the stumbling block; a promotional campaign properly advertising events with posters around the Town would be needed.

Councillor McKenzie indicated that the Committee did have an advertising budget stream that could be drawn upon (when working with organisations, including the Coop).

It was noted that some Events have simply been cancelled, with little notice. In addition to banners and Facebook the Discover Bideford App should be used / developed.


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

RESOLVED: That the meeting returns to Standing Orders.

(Vote For: 6, Against: 0)

Members reflected upon the Motion indicating that it simply reaffirmed the Committee’s commitment to providing for Market trading where possible, would quell the rumours suggesting that the Market was closing and that the Hall was available for hire, to individuals / organisations at the agreed rates.

The Chairman called for a recorded vote.

It was proposed by Councillor Ms Clarke, seconded by Councillor Mrs Hellyer and

RESOLVED: That the Motion is supported.

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

For:                                     Abstention:
Councillor Bushby              Councillor T Inch
Councillor Ms Clarke
Councillor Hawkins
Councillor Mrs Hellyer
Councillor McKenzie


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)


There was no report.


a.   The Clerk advised that the Tenant in Butcher’s Row Unit 18 had requested a move to the vacant Butcher’s Row Unit 17, given the great water ingress suffered on two occasions this summer.

Members considered the request in the light of a recent application received and against previously unsuccessful applicants.

Proposed by Councillor McKenzie, seconded and

RESOLVED: That the tenant occupying Butcher’s Row Unit 18 move into the vacant Butcher’s Row Unit 17. The roof of Unit 18 to be attended to prior to offer of tenancy.

(Vote – For: 6, Against: 0)

b.   Application received for Unit 17 to be considered, with previously received applications, when Unit 18 is fit for rental.

c.   Tenant / trader matters.

There is a confidential note associated with this item.


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 7.42 pm.


Table of Pannier Market Accounts presented at Market Management Committee for approval 21 September 2023



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