Minutes of the Market Management Committee held in the Bideford Pannier Market Hall on Thursday 29 September 2022 at 6.30 pm
Councillor D Bushby
Councillor J Herron
Councillor Mrs J Gubb (Town Mayor)
Councillor Mrs L Hellyer
Councillor J McKenzie (Chairman)
Councillor C Hawkins
Market Representative: Ms E Hilton
Mr R Coombes (Deputy Town Clerk)
1 x Tenant
42. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
43. DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST AND ANY REQUESTS FOR DISPENSATION ON ITEMS ON THE AGENDA
There were no declarations of interest.
44. PUBLIC PARTICIPATION SESSION OF 15 MINUTES DURATION
A tenant who had submitted an application for a unit took the opportunity to address the Committee.
Proposed by Councillor McKenzie and seconded by Councillor Mrs L Hellyer, the Minutes of the Meeting held on 18 August 2022 were approved and signed as a correct record.
(Vote – For: 6, Against: 0)
It was proposed by Councillor McKenzie and seconded by Councillor Mrs L Hellyer, and
RESOLVED: That the lists of payments for 29 September 2022 be approved.
(Vote – For: 6, Against: 0)
47. CHAIRMAN’S / MARKET ADMINISTRATOR’S REPORT
The Chairman thanked the Clerk for drafting his report, which had previously been circulated, that is enclosed and forms part of these Minutes.
The Clerk expressed his concern at the poor take up of traders for the Tuesday Charter and Saturday Markets. He had canvassed stakeholders that led to the recommendations, however, they were, he stressed, simply a basis from which the Committee could address the Market stagnation.
Members entered into full discussion points included:
• Ms Hilton saw merit in additional studios, there was not a great turnover of tenants, benefits included retaining items on site; additional tenants would fill out the Market Hall.
• Potential in exploring Business Start-ups.
o Opposition voiced at limiting Event opportunities in contrast to the direction currently endorsed and use of the Hall for the wider Community.
• It was noted that a number of recent “advertised” Events had been cancelled, others poorly advertised. (Members directed the Clerk to clarify position with Events Coordinator.)
o The Clerk noted that the Bideford Town Band were looking to repeat the Remembrance Concert on either 11 or 12 November, St Helen’s School, Abbotsham will again hold their Christmas Fair on 2 December and there will be another Auto Jumble on 22 January 2023.
• There was a strong feeling that position of the Market, in relation to the Town, did limit visitors.
o Councillor Herron strongly opposed this line citing the very successful Italian Restaurant and local public house. He offered contrast with Bristol, Brighton and South Molton markets and their operational model.
o It was felt the challenges faced by the recently engaged Development Officers, and previous Market Managers, siting and budgets did not bear comparison.
• Recent coach visitors’ expressions of disappointment of (Market) offer.
• Core hours: there has been a drift towards simply opening for the bear minimum 10 am to 3 pm rather than general opening hours of 9 am through to 4 or 5 pm.
o Any new traders in the Market Hall, expecting to trade until 4 pm have been bemused to see tenants leaving much earlier.
o Limited opening provides for limited visitor attraction / offer and sales.
o Does not take into account visitor / workers commitments.
o Late Night offerings did have some success / appeal for both trader and visitor.
Members agreed further discussion was needed to address the Market Complex offer.
48. TENANT REPORT
Ms Hilton advised:
1. The Market Officer had turned away a potential market trader, who had arrived at the Market, with insurance documentation, in the expectation of trading on a casual basis. The Market Officer indicated that application, in the first instance, should be through the Office.
Members expressed concern that this was the practise. The Market Officer should on receipt of a completed application, signed terms and conditions, suitable insurance detail / cover and remittance be able to accept a Casual Trader, for the day. The Clerk would seek an explanation from the Market Officer with a view to enabling new traders on a day to trade on a casual basis. Members did not believe the hopeful trader would return.
2. The Town Centre was engaging in weekly late night shopping, every Thursday during the Festive period.
The Clerk noted that the December 2019 Late Night Shopping Event had been the most successful to date and organised by the first Development Officer. This could be replicated. Whilst the Late Night shopping evenings started in August 2021 had been a degree of success, more so when the Market Hall was involved, it suffered from too many last December; April 2022 was not a success.
3. It was confirmed that there would be trading on Christmas Eve, Saturday 24 December 2022 (it was noted that it is not a public holiday), an opportunity for tenants and traders to provide final Christmas sales.
Ms Hilton indicated there was a desire to promote Events and offer mince pies on the run up to Christmas.
4. There had been little detail regarding the traditional Wicked Week / Halloween Themed Event to be led by the Events Coordinator.
5. The Clerk reminded Members of the “Winter Warm Clothing and Uniform Event,” scheduled for 26 – 28 October 2022. Ms Hilton indicated that brief had been widened to include adult’s clothing. She also advised that she was stepping back her involvement.
The Clerk confirmed that he had agreed with extending the remit, noting if there was a need that could be addressed, the Market would aim to support the Community.
Ms Hilton stated that there was an abundance of School Clothing. Councillor Mrs Hellyer gave detail of the Bideford Clothing Bank, suggesting there was a means to distribute any surplus.
6. Members unanimously agreed the funding support, previously requested and circulated, sought by a Tenant to provide Festive themed Events over the Christmas period. It was noted that it fell within the budgeted “special promotions.” The Tenant has much experience with arranging Market events and formerly sat on the Committee, the Clerk confirmed.
49. PART II CLOSED SESSION
The Chairman thanked Ms Hilton for her attendance / contribution.
Proposed by Councillor McKenzie, seconded by Councillor Mrs Hellyer and
RESOLVED: That in view of their being no items of a confidential nature to be discussed, the meeting does not move into part II but is brought to a close.
(Vote – For: 6, Against: 0)
50. CHAIRMAN’S REPORT
There being no specific item, Councillor Bushby reiterated his concern where a potential casual trader could be turned away, despite having the appropriate documentation.
Councillor Bushby believed that to address the future, the Complex needed to be viewed as two entities: the Market Place and Butcher’s Row Shop Units distinct from the Market Hall offer.
Discussion followed on the viability of the Market, wider use of the area for Community involvement (there is no “Village” / Community Hall in the West of Bideford) and specialist, one off Markets / Events.
Members agreed to calling a single item agenda on the future use of the Market.
51. BUTCHER’S ROW UNITS 10 / 11 BEAM WORKS
Members considered quotations for the Butcher’s Row Units 10 / 11 works.
Proposed by Councillor Mrs Hellyer, seconded by Councillor Mrs Gubb and
RESOLVED: That Robeda are invited to complete the works iaw the terms of their quotation.
(Vote – For: 6, Against: 0)
52. TENANT / TRADER
a. Members considered the previously circulated applications for Market Place Shop 27, Butcher’s Row Units 5 and 21.
Proposed by Councillor Bushby, seconded by Councillor Mrs Hellyer and
i. Butcher’s Row Unit 5 is offered to Ms S Hadden.
ii. Butcher’s Row Unit 21 is offered to Ms E Hilton.
iii. Market Place Shop Unit 27 is offered to Mr T Wade.
(Vote – For: 5, Against: 0, Abstention: 1)
53. RETURN TO STANDING ORDERS
Proposed by Councillor Mrs Hellyer, 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 8.20 pm.