To propose a new fee structure for Spalding market traders (report of Environmental Services Manager enclosed).
Consideration was given to the report of the Environmental Services Manager, which laid out details of the proposed new market trader fees which were due to come into effect from 1 December 2020.
A previous report, which had been considered by the Cabinet, Performance Monitoring Panel and Council, had outlined the re-opening of markets with significant changes to arrangements following the Covid lockdown, in addition to a recommendation to review the fees traders paid in Spalding.
Due to the change in arrangements, a review of the fees, which were higher in Spalding due to the previous stall provision, would be required. Benchmarking work had been undertaken to understand charges in other local markets, and to establish whether the fees proposed should be reviewed further.
Members considered the report, and the following issues were raised:
· Members asked whether trader representation had been taken into account.
· Why had Spalding market been compared to Kings Lynn market? Comparisons should be made to other markets in the district instead, such as Holbeach and Long Sutton.
· It was suggested that Spalding market holders pay the same rate per stall as traders did in Holbeach and Long Sutton. Councillor Newton commented that the traders had recommended that they pay 51p per foot until the end of the financial year. There were two options within the report and it was suggested that members consider a third point – that when charging was considered again in December, that all South Holland market traders paid the same.
· If charging for markets at Spalding was to be the same as Holbeach and Long Sutton, would subsidised parking also apply?
· It was suggested that fees could be put on hold for the remainder of the financial year, and that a full review of market sustainability and pricing could be undertaken as part of the Town Centre Improvement Plans.
· Members questioned what the timeframe was for the Town Centre Improvement Plans for Holbeach and Spalding?
Councillor Newton proposed that the Panel vote on a third option (for submission to the Cabinet) – that Spalding market traders be charged the same amount per foot as stall holders at Holbeach and Long Sutton markets. Councillor Walsh seconded the proposal. The Panel voted on the proposal, and it was defeated.
That following consideration by the Policy Development Panel, market fees for Spalding, as detailed within the report, be reconsidered by the Cabinet, in line with the benchmarking exercise that had been undertaken.