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Minutes of the Market Management Committee Meeting held in the Council Chamber of the Town Hall, Bideford, on Thursday 1 August 2019 at 6.30 pm

PRESENT:

East Ward

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

South Ward

Councillor B Wootton

West Ward

Councillor Mrs K Corfe
Councillor C J Hawkins

Market Hall Mrs G Morgan
Mr B Sidwell

Butchers Row Miss K la Fontaine

IN ATTENDANCE:
Mr R Coombes (Deputy Town Clerk)

33.      APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

There were no absentees.

34.      DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST ON ITEMS ON THE AGENDA

There were no declarations of interest.

35.      PUBLIC PARTICIPATION PERIOD

There were no members of the public present.

36.     MINUTES

The Minutes of the Meeting held on 20 June 2019 were approved and signed as a correct record.

(Vote – For: 6, Against: 0)

37.      ACCOUNTS

It was proposed by Councillor McKenzie, seconded and

RESOLVED: That the list of payments be approved.

(Vote – For: 6, Against: 0)

38.      CHAIRMAN’S / MARKET ADMINISTRATORS REPORT

(Miss la Fontaine joined the Meeting.)

The Market Administrator advised Members that Mr Bennion, Squire of Bideford Phoenix Morris, had corresponded regarding the organisation of the Day of Dance for North Devon Hospice and Children’s Hospice South West on Saturday 12 October 2019. Members had previously resolved upon the Event which will be staged between 11 am and 3 pm.

He advised that the Event had been staged last year whilst the Torridge Arts had also been trading that had made for a tight operation. This year the Arts will be in the Market Hall on 5 October 2019.

Mr Sidwell confirmed he had spoken to Mr Bennion and that there should not be other attractions staged on the day; Mrs Morgan referred to Dancing equipment causing potential trip hazards.

39.      DEVELOPMENT WORKING GROUP

Members discussed the role of the new Development Officer and whether the Working Group, that had effectively created the position, needed to continue.

The Chairman indicated that the item be removed from the (future) Agenda.

40.      SOCIAL MEDIA: FACEBOOK / TWITTER

Mr Sidwell indicated that the initial course that had been offered by North Devon + appeared too basic for any benefit to current Market Social Media users.

Miss la Fontaine confirmed that Butcher’s Row Tenants were interested and would contribute to the cost of an advanced course.

The Market Administrator indicated that the Development Officer should not be encumbered with coordinating a training package for the Traders / Tenants. He stated that the Committee had agreed to contribute a matched funded payment and that those wishing to benefit should seek to liaise with North Devon +.

Councillor Hawkins advised that any training was dependant upon what each trader required. For Google optimisation he advised: “be open, honest and legitimate.” He added that one should steer clear from those offering advanced “opportunities”.

Discussion followed on the various Market media related output. The Market Administrator indicated that the Development Officer would host a Bideford Pannier Market social media outlet, consistent with the Town Council but would clearly post and link items with the Council and Market stakeholders.

41.      MAGICAL MOMENTS – NEW YEAR’S EVE PARTY

Members noted that the Magical Moments New Year’s Eve Party is scheduled to take place in the Pannier Market on Tuesday 31 December 2019, the final trading day of the year

Members discussed the clearing of the Hall in readiness for the New Year’s Eve Party (supported by the Council), in the past and the logistics of running the Party alongside traders (and the take up of interested traders), the area available, the success of the Party and the opportunities for the Market / traders on the day.

The Market Administrator had spoken to Mr Kersey, engaged by Magical Moments, who was keen to work with the Market / traders to provide a successful event.

The Chairman indicated that the Development Officer should liaise with Mr Kersey and the Traders to maximise the opportunity for all concerned.

42.      a. Coach Friendly Status Award and Shuttle Bus update.

Mr Sidwell advised that there had been a presentation confirming the award of Coach Friendly Status and that a press release had been distributed to thirty five coach companies and associated concerns around the country – Bideford is “Open for Business”.

He wondered if the same Press Release could be sent to the Coach Tour UK magazine with a view to placing an advertisement at £750.00 + VAT.

The Market Administrator advised that the Advertising Budget is for the Development Officer to use and that the amount represented half that is available. An approach though could be explored for possible editorial / copy combined with an advertisement. The Development Officer had spoken earlier in the day about posting advertisements and their effectiveness.

Miss la Fontaine wondered if the Tourist Board could promote the newly acquired status given that it was a Bideford wide and not Market specific.

Mr Sidwell declared that Bideford was the only Town in North Devon to have attained the Award.

The Chairman would approach the Tourism Committee to see if a cost could be shared. Councillor Mrs Hellyer agreed to raising the promotion with the Town Centre Partnership.

Mr Sidwell advised that the Shuttle Bus had sixty nine passengers on Tuesday, 31 July 2019 and that the Shearing Coach Company had rescheduled its itinerary to tie in with the Tuesday / Saturday Shuttle runs.

 b.      To consider and Resolve upon making a contribution for the Insurance of the Shuttle Bus Service.

Mr Sidwell indicated that IntaGr8 had enquired after a contribution towards funding the insurance for the vehicle. The original cost to the Market had been funding the driver and diesel used.

The Chairman indicated that the item be deferred until the next meeting awaiting figures.

c.      Market Hall Hire. Mr Sidwell had been approached regarding the cost to hire the Market Hall, outside trading hours, by a Market Tenant. The requirement would not include any movement or disruption to the Market Hall setup and would be for a short period.
Members had sight of the current Hire Agreement and charges.

In discussion with the Market Administrator the Development Officer had indicated that the Hall was an excellent facility that could be further utilised, albeit providing that it remained available to traders the following day.

The Market Administrator suggested that the hire charges could be reviewed, made more flexible to encourage further use. The Development Officer, in part to promote the facility, will be asked to investigate and compare charges of hire for similar / local community buildings.

43.      ARTS AND CRAFTS STUDIO UNITS

Miss La Fontaine advised that a number of Butcher’s Row tenants were very concerned that the Council deviate from the original concept of a Work Shop Unit in the Market Hall, where tenants could be seen creating there work.

Mr Sidwell indicated that two units had been vacant for ten months and that a further two would soon become vacant.

The Market Officer wondered whether the Arts and Crafts fraternity had highlighted the availability within their network.

Mr Sidwell confirmed that the Units are advertised on social media, Notice Boards and the individual Units.

The Chairman advocated widening the selection, considering each application on its merit and suitability for the Market. He also supported shorter tenancy opportunities.

Councillor Mrs Hellyer suggested allocating two Units for short term “Pop ups”.

Miss la Fontaine wondered if Petroc could be approached citing students and promoting their dissertations. The Units need not be exclusive Arts and Craft but the opportunity widened.

It was proposed by Councillor McKenzie, seconded and

RESOLVED: That two Market Hall Studio Units be made available as short term “pop ups” and that the remit is widened beyond simply Arts and Crafts; each application will be considered on its merits.

(Vote – For: 6, Against: 0)

44.      FREE MARKET WI-FI

Miss la Fontaine led discussion on the difficulties that Tenants have in processing card payments with the current provision. She indicated that it was equally frustrating for purchasers as the sellers.

Mr Sidwell noted that recently three sales had seen the buyers obtain cash from the Halifax Bank, in the High Street, and return to complete the transaction.

The Market Administrator explained the cost of broadband provision to the Office, for the Development Officer and, having taken advice, had obtained an “unlimited” Sim only contract and modest priced Smart ‘phone to provide the “hot spot” for them to operate. Mr Ford, TDC officer and Mr Hughes (provider of Council’s website / IT support), had been extremely helpful in identifying equipment, software and general technical knowledge. He noted that a Butcher’s Row tenant also used the same system. The solution was flexible, a good deal, cheaper than that offered by BT.

The Chairman suggested that a survey could be undertaken to establish the take up by visitors. He questioned whether it was appropriate for public funds to directly support individual businesses in conducting their sales.

The Market Administrator again noted that a recent Market Shop Tenant had installed a telephone line within two days noting that Butcher’s Row tenants had been known to do the same, in the past.

Councillor Mrs Hellyer believed that the Businesses / sole traders should make their own provision.

Miss la Fontaine agreed that she could install a line from which fellow tenants could also benefit.

45.      TRADERS / TENANTS

Mr Sidwell advised that Entertainment had been booked for 3 and 31 August 2019 with the help and support of Councillors Mrs Corfe and Hawkins.

The Torridge Arts will be joining the Market on 31 August, 5 October and 7 December 2019.

He asked the Market Administrator to establish the date when the Kenwith Archers’ season begins.

Mrs Morgan noted that a trader’s mother had fallen on a couple of occasions. She spoke on the merits of an Accident and Injury / Occurrence Book.

The Market Administrator stated that there were forms for incident reporting.

The Chairman asked the Market Administrator to confirm the provision speculating on any GDPR ruling / concern.

Discussion followed on recent members of the community occupying the area outside the Market who might be regarded as not attractive to Market visitors. The Police had been informed, however, while they are not breaking the law or conducting a criminal act they cannot be moved on.

(Councillor Mrs Hellyer left the Meeting.)

Miss la Fontaine asked why Butcher’s Row tenants had not received the same gratis opportunity afforded to the Market Hall traders in the January months.

The Market Administrator explained historically that it was part of their agreement, to make payment within a certain criterion throughout the previous year. He had provided figures to the Committee in the past regarding the impact should they be mindful to extend the largesse whilst resolving upon the item.

46.      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: 5, Against: 0)

47.      PART II (CLOSED SESSION)

48.      CHAIRMAN’S REPORT – CONFIDENTIAL MATTERS

There was nothing to report.

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

a.        Three applications had been submitted for 27 Market Place that is currently under refurbishment. The Market Administrator advised Members that the rent of £128.00 compared to a single Unit in Butcher’s Row of £102.00 per month.

The Chairman deferred any decision until the next Meeting; the Development Officer will be asked to advertise the availability of the Unit.

b.        Two applications had been submitted for Studio Units in the Market Hall.

Proposed by Councillor McKenzie, seconded and

RESOLVED: That Mrs K Brock be offered a tenancy for Studio Unit 6 and that Ms L Laing be offered a tenancy for either Studio Unit 1 or 2.

(Vote – For: 5, 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 8.21 pm.


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