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Minutes of the Market Management Committee Meeting held in the Council Chamber of the Town Hall, Bideford, on Thursday 13 September 2018 at 6.30 pm

PRESENT:

North Ward

Councillor D Bushby
Councillor T Johns

East Ward

Councillor Mrs R Craigie

South Ward

Councillor D Brenton (Chairman)
Councillor B Wootton

Market Hall

Ms B de Noranha
Mr B Sidwell

Butchers Row

Mr M Dendle

Market Place

Mr P Lawrence


IN ATTENDANCE: Mr R Coombes (Deputy Town Clerk)


62.    APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

Councillor J McKenzie (East Ward, personal).

63.     DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST ON ITEMS ON THE AGENDA

There were no declarations of interest.

64.    PUBLIC PARTICIPATION PERIOD

There was no participation from the public member.

65.    MINUTES

The Minutes of the Meeting held on 2 August 2018 were approved and signed as a correct record.

(Vote – For: 5, Against: 0)

66.    MATTERS ARISING

There were no matters arising.

67.    ACCOUNTS

The Market Administrator drew the Members’ attention to the Non-Domestic Rates Bill for Unit 1 A, occupied by the Market Officer.

It was proposed by Councillor Bushby, seconded and

RESOLVED: That the list of payments be approved.

(Vote – For: 5, Against: 0)

68.    CHAIRMAN’S / MARKET ADMINISTRATORS REPORT

There were no reports.

69.    CLEANING OF BUTCHERS ROW SKYLIGHT

Members noted that the Maintenance Operatives would be cleaning the Butchers Row (skylight) windows on Mondays, using the Scaffold Tower, as weather conditions dictated their wider Council workload.

The Market Administrator indicated that the Tenants largely treat Mondays as part of their “weekend off”, noting that Minxy’s Sweets and Lee Farrant’s fast food outlet do operate. The Team will operate safely and aim to cause the least disturbance to stakeholders.

70.    KENWITH COMPANY OF ARCHERS – WINTER SEASON COMMENCEMENT

Members noted the commencement of the Kenwith Company of Archer’s winter season: Tuesday, 18 September 2018 (twice weekly).

71.    WICKED WEEK

Mr Sidwell confirmed that Wicked Week would extend over 23 – 27 October 2018.

The Traders had planned activities:

Tuesday (23 Oct)   Pumpkin carving         Face Painting       Free

Wednesday          Pumpkin carving                                       Free

Thursday              Wet Felting                                             Torridge Arts Member

Friday                  Card board / paper work instruction        Paper Palaver

Saturday              First Annual Teddy Bears Picnic               Story telling / face painting


The Market Administrator reminded Members that a budget had been agreed earlier in the year that could be drawn upon to support entertainment / events for the Easter, summer, and winter festive periods.

Mr Sidwell expanded on the Pumpkin Carving noting IntaGr8’s free provision and the Teddy Bears’ Picnic which would include storytelling, face painting and light snacks / drinks. Care would be taken in the promotion regarding allergies and where necessary participants would be encouraged to “bring their own”. It was felt that the Event would be something different, encourage families and provide impetus for future (repeat) attendance.

Proposed by Councillor Bushby, seconded and

RESOLVED: That a budget of up to £200 is made available for the Wicked Week Events.

(Vote – For: 5, Against: 0)

72.     CHRISTMAS MARKET TRADING

Christmas Market Trading. Mr Sidwell reminded Members that the Signing of the Lease Civic Ceremony would take place on 1 December 2018. The Town Band would be in support and an acoustic duo: Della and James would perform in the afternoon. The Torridge Arts group would be in attendance although their number would be restricted to twelve (four reserve). It was suggested that the casual Saturday traders should pay in advance to secure a table on that day. The Market Administrator confirmed that payment is made “in advance on the day”.

He indicated that should Members resolve that trading can take place on “Christmas Lights Switch On” Sunday a Santa’s Grotto and Santa’s Post Box would be organised (again there would be face painting); reindeer will also be incorporated on either the Sunday or Tuesday (to be confirmed). He requested that if the Market Hall Studio Units 1 and 2 remained vacant that they could be utilised for the Grotto / Post Box. (Councillor Bushby indicated that it made sense.)

Proposed by Councillor Bush

by, seconded and

RESOLVED: That the regular Saturday (Casual) Traders will be required to pay in advance to secure a table on 1 December 2018.

(Vote – For: 5, Against: 0)

Members discussed the possibility of an ice rink (too large, could not be accommodated with the pillars and noise), PRS/PPL covers recorded music i.e. festive tunes and cost of duo performing on 1 December 2018.

Market Opening Dates during the Christmas / New Year Period. Ms de Noranha and Mr Sidwell had canvassed fellow traders. On confirmation that there would be a New Year’s Eve Event on 31 December 2018, the Traders would pack up fully at cease of trading on Saturday 22 December 2018 with a view to recommence trading on Wednesday 2 January 2019.

Mr Sidwell described how dire the period was last year, adding that the closest food / beverage outlet was in Mill Street.

Mr Dendle and Mr Lawrence confirmed that Butchers Row and Market Street Shops would remain open for business – Mr Lawrence adding that it was a successful trading period for him personally.

The Chairman indicated that there would need to be sufficient notification that the Hall would be closed for the period and that the other areas would be open. Messrs Dendle, Sidwell and Lawrence agreed to publicise the message.

Proposed by Councillor Brenton, seconded and

RESOLVED: That the Market would close after trading on Saturday 22 December 2018 and reopen for trading on Wednesday 2 January 2019.

(Vote – For: 5, Against: 0)

73.     CHRISTMAS LIGHTS SWITCH ON / LATE NIGHT SHOPPING

Members agreed that the weekend trading be extended to include Sunday 2 December 2018, 12 noon to 5.00 pm, to coincide with the Christmas Lights Switch On Event in the Town.

Proposed by Councillor Brenton, seconded and

RESOLVED: That the Market Hall would be open for trading on Sunday, 2 December 2018 from 12.00 noon to 5.00 pm.

(Vote – For: 5, Against: 0)

Members reflected on extending the trading day on Tuesday, 4 December 2018 linking with the Bideford Late Night Shopping Events.

It was proposed by Councillor Brenton, seconded and

RESOLVED: That the Market Hall would be open for trading until 8.00 pm on Tuesday, 4 December 2018.

(Vote – For: 5, Against: 0)

74.     NEW YEAR’S EVE EVENT

Members Noted the Hire of the Hall for the New Year’s Eve Event on Monday, 31 December 2018. The Magical Moments is a free family party on New Year’s Eve for children, it will start at 12 noon, a repeat of last year.

The Market Administrator had spoken to the people behind the New Year’s Eve Event who had received Grant funding from the Council to stage Festive Events. They would be liaising with the Café and meeting the Council Market staff whilst submitting the Hire paperwork.

74.     VAT UPDATE

Members noted the latest news from NABMA including that it was for each NABMA member to decide on whether VAT is applicable to their market letting. Their assessment of the current position is that there is a strong case for regular market continuing to argue for an exemption from VAT liability.

Mr Thomas QC, engaged by NABMA, indicated that in the event of HMRC issuing and enforcing a retrospective assessment there is a potential exposure for the last twenty years. The Market Administrator indicated that should this be the case there would be a danger that many Markets would cease to trade.

In noting that Mr Thomas feels, if an agreement with HMRC cannot be reached, the only way of resolving matters is to fight a test case, the Chairman indicated that the Bideford Pannier Market would not be volunteered.

The Market Administrator recapped from the last Meeting on engaging specialist VAT advice. Councillor Day would be speaking to 361 Energy CIC, however, two quotation had been obtained one from a former Town Clerk who specialises in VAT and provides advice to Town and Parish Councils. (He also gives presentations; the Town Clerk having attended a SLCC organised event.) Given that Councillor Day believed that the quotations sat well within the Council’s budget to facilitate the installation of a solar pv array on the Market, the question of funding had been placed on the next Renewable Energy Generation Meeting; Members noted the arrangement.

Councillor Bushby had discussed with the Town Clerk the VAT implications that would arise following solar pv investment on the Pannier Market. He believed that everyone was interested in the theory of the benefits but in practise there was greater merit in simply providing a grant from the agreed sum to the Pollyfield Centre to pursue the Community Renewable agenda, and not place an array on the Market. He was aware that any application would meet objection and confrontation from the Market neighbours. He conceded that by entering the process it would simply create further issues.

Mrs Craigie wondered at what point (i.e. financial) VAT registration would be necessary.

The Market Administrator advised that it wasn’t a threshold (albeit that less than £1,000.00 annually may see a waiver by HMRC) that simply by generating supplies that attract VAT the Market would have to be registered. The implication (of VAT registration) would impact upon the overall Market (and Council) business.

Mr Lawrence concurred seeing no merit in the pursuance of an array on the Market.

75.     STAIR LIFT

Mr Dendle had made no progress – the item to be deferred to the next Meeting.

76.     TRADERS / TENANTS

Ship Mast – mounting and history. Mr Sidwell advised everything was in hand; Councillor Christie although very busy was working on the wording. Councillor Bushby had discussed mounting options and would liaise with the (Council) Maintenance Operatives.

Pannier Market History Board. Again, Councillor Christie was working on the wording.

Transit / Temporary storage space for traders. Ms de Noranha believed that traders / tenants in the Market Hall would benefit from a temporary storage solution given that items are often delivered, along with packing materials, that cannot easily be accommodated in the first instance. Similarly, items are delivered when the recipient is not on site to receive them.

Discussion followed that confirmed the limited storage facilities / areas within the Hall. One storage room adjacent to the Café is not easily accessible and currently houses Christmas Lights and other decorations. It could be tidied; a hand rail and perhaps new steps could also be provided. The Chairman felt that there should be an assessment of the risks, an outline on the potential for the facility and how the access could be improved upon, made for consideration at the next meeting.

Mr Sidwell referred to a Town Centre Partnership initiative where the provision of new recycle bins had been discussed. Evidently any item purchased would have to be uniform in colour (green), on direction from the Conservation Officer. He had hoped that the Market could be included.

The Market Administrator had been in correspondence with the Torridge District Council Officer although any outcome had been delayed by the long-term sickness of the officer.

Mr Lawrence noted that whilst there was signage indicating the Market (Hall) there was not signage (in the Hall) directing visitors to Butchers Row / Market Street Shops. Councillor Bushby suggested a simple “A” Frame could be deployed.

77.     DEVELOPMENT WORKING GROUP

a.      Mr Dendle referred to the feedback forms – he needed more. He had been surprised at the number of positive responses although a number had observed that there were not enough traders, similarly not all Units were open. Trip Advisor too had several poor comments. People do keep visiting, though.

Mr Sidwell advised that boxes at £30 each could be sourced to receive the feedback forms. Members felt that the price was somewhat expensive and that simple boxes could be used. Ms de Noranha agreed that card board boxes could be created.

Mr Sidwell indicated that some feedback questioned whether it was a market or car boot sale reiterating the lack of traders and stall holders.

Councillor Bushby did not believe that comparison with a car boot sale was fair.

Mr Sidwell wondered if the monthly incentive i.e. commit to two months’ trading for the price of one introduction to the Market could not be re-evaluated suggesting a six-month contract with one month gratis. He believed that traders did need a longer period to establish themselves.

b.     Mr Dendle referred to a job description for a Tavistock Market officer. He indicated that there were a number of “management speak” terms to satisfy the funding provision that would finance the position. It did provide a basis to work from. The Chairman advised that his daughter had been involved in Event Management for Walt Disney and could tailor one to the given criteria.

It was suggested that a Meeting of the Development Working Group be convened.

Mr Sidwell indicated that it (a Market Manager position) should be self-financing.

The Market Administrator confirmed that the Market was run to a balanced budget albeit that it had been marginally up for a couple of years. The intention was not to make a huge profit but simply maintain the building (providing tenants / traders the opportunity to trade).

Mr Lawrence highlighted the Craft Carnival Case that is occupying HRMC / NABMA where Mr Thomas makes the point that the Antiques Fayre was intended to be specialist in nature. Traders were selected, a great amount of promotion was undertaken, and the event was intended to be an experience. Mr Lawrence did not support the appointment.

Councillor Bushby felt that the decision should await the VAT outcome / advice.

Mr Dendle felt that a Market Plan should be developed considering the Market, its traders / tenants, Events and its place in the Community before employing anyone; the engaged person would need to execute the Plan, after all. The Chairman spoke of the Market as a community asset agreeing that an operating contract would indicate the overall responsibilities.

Councillor Bushby noted the opening hours and reflected on the Christmas Eves’ of times past when the Market would be heaving, having opened at 6.00 am with traders selling vegetables and birds. It would have been inconceivable for the Market not to be open on Christmas Eve.

The Chairman indicated that the Council’s responsibility was firstly to preserve the fabric of the building and maintain its position within the Community. He believed that it was positive that forty to fifty tenants and traders were currently employed on site.

78.     INNER MARKET DOORS

a.      The Members noted the Conservation Officer’s requirement for Listed Building Consent (LBC) and supporting documents. The Chairman expressed concern at the need to hire an architect and the need to have plans drawn up.

The Market Administrator advised that he had spoken to both the Contractor and the Conservation Officer, who had no need to meet with the Contractor, and had directed that an LBC application should be submitted, including up to date plans of the Market Hall with elevations generally and specific to the drawings provided by the Contractor.

He advised that he had viewed the West Devon Planning website and the documentation associated with the Tavistock Market Project. He noted that an architect had been responsible for submitting the LBC application and confirmed with the Contractor that they had worked together, the Architect using the Contractor’s diagrams for the plans submitted as part of the suite of documents.

Given the Chairman had been advised to visit Tavistock (by the Conservation Officer), the visiting party appreciative of what they saw and Members subsequently resolving to engage the same contractor, the Market Administrator stated that he had been in correspondence with the (Tavistock) Architect.

While the Chairman continued to express reservations at engaging an architect (he referred to aged plans, noting that nothing had changed) the Market Administrator advised that they had the expertise to deliver the LBC. He stated also that the Conservation Officer had intimated that as the Building Custodian the Council should have up to date plans of the building adding that in order to further the Stair Lift an LBC application would need to be submitted which would require associated plans. By engaging an architect to produce plans for the Market Hall generally and the Doors specifically they could be asked to provide a quotation for further plans; should an application to mount a solar pv array on the Market Hall roof again plans would be needed.

The Market Administrator also viewed an LBC application for the Torrington Market and had contacted the Barnstaple architect responsible.

Councillor Bushby spoke of a local architect describing how he uses a camera that can be set up in the middle of the Hall, that takes several photographs (3600) and provides all the necessary dimensions.

b.      Members saw merit in engaging an architect to submit the LBC application with the necessary plans and appropriate documentation. Discussion followed on the need to progress the works.

Proposed by Councillor Bushby, seconded and

RESOLVED: That the Market Administrator and Chairman are given delegated authority to progress the Inner Door works by obtaining quotations and subsequently engaging an Architect to submit the Listed Building Consent application, with the associated plans and documentation.

(Vote – For: 5, Against: 0)

79.     CONFIDENTIAL ITEMS TO BE TAKEN IN PART II

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)

80.     PART II (CLOSED SESSION)

81.     CHAIRMAN’S REPORT – CONFIDENTIAL MATTERS

The Chairman had no report.

82.    TERMINATIONS OF LEASES /APPLICATIONS RECEIVED FOR TENANCIES OF PREMISES

There is a confidential minute associated with this item.

83.    UPDATE ON RENT

There is a confidential minute associated with this item.

The Chairman, having established that there was no further business to discuss, thanked the Members for their attendance and concluded the Meeting at 7.53 pm.


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