To consider a report of the Head of Scrutiny and Member Development on the fourth session of the Board’s Inquiry to consider the Future of Kirkgate Market.
Referring to Minute 109 of the meeting held on 8th March 2011, the Head of Scrutiny and Member Development submitted a report on the fourth session of the Board’s Inquiry to consider the Future of Kirkgate Market.
Appended to the report were copies of the following documents for the information/comment of the meeting:-
· Scrutiny Board (City Development) – Inquiry to Consider the Future of Kirkgate Market – Terms of Reference
· Inquiry on the Future of Kirkgate Market – Session 4 Evidence for Scrutiny – Report of the Acting Director of City Development
The following representatives/witnesses were in attendance and gave evidence to the Board and responded to Board Members’ queries and comments:-
Paul Stephens, Chief Economic Development Officer, City Development
Sue Burgess, Markets Manager, City Development
Jo Williams, Consultant, National Market Traders' Federation (NMTF) (Kirkgate Branch)
Liz Laughton, National Market Traders' Federation (NMTF) (Kirkgate Branch)
Michele Hocken, National Market Traders' Federation (NMTF) (Kirkgate Branch)
Lacky Singh, National Market Traders' Federation (NMTF) (Kirkgate Branch)
John Perriton, National Market Traders’ Federation (NMTF)
Sara Gonzalez, Friends of Kirkgate Market
Prior to discussing this issue, the Chair and Councillor G Harper wished to place on record their sincere thanks and appreciation to the market traders arsing from their respective roles as ‘Market traders for the day’ in Kirkgate Market on 7th March 2011.
The Chair invited the Chief Economic Development Officer to give a brief introduction on the key points referred to within the Acting Director of City Development’s report. The Chief Officer also outlined the discussions undertaken at a recent a Markets Workshop (at the request of scrutiny) with the NMTF and Friends of Kirkgate Market where there was consensus on three specific areas namely; the need for major investment, the need for faster decision making processes and the potential for the market to become a major visitor destination. Whilst opinion was divided on the best ownership and management model there was no support for the market being wholly owned and managed by either the traders or the private sector, with the majority present giving an arm’s length company as their first choice.
Councillor G Harper in his capacity as Chair of the Markets Forum also reported on the outcome of discussions at recent meetings of the Market Forum and on the topics to be discussed at future meetings.
The Chair then invited further comments in response to the above issues from Jo Williams; Liz Laughton, Michelle Hocken and Lacky Singh from the National Market Traders’ Federation (NMTF) Kirkgate Branch, together with John Perriton, National Market Traders’ Federation and Sara Gonzalez, Friends of Kirkgate Market.
The Board noted the comments made and acknowledged that many of the issues raised had been discussed at previous meetings as part of the ongoing Inquiry.
The Chair then invited the Chief Economic Development Officer and the Markets Manager to respond to the individual comments made.
Board Members then questioned officers and witnesses on the evidence presented.
In summary, specific reference was made to the following issues:-
· ownership and management models
· concerns of the Chair following his attendance at the market on 7th March 2011
· concerns at the market rents and discounts offered
· promotion of the market as a retail outlet to attract new customers
· service charges and the number of markets’ staff that this funds
· operational and management concerns at the market
· communication issues
· reference to the Eastgate development
The Chair then allowed the Chief Economic Officer and the Markets Manager, together with Joe Williams and Liz Laughton to sum up.
The Chair informed the meeting that the next stage of the Inquiry was for a number of draft recommendations to be drawn up for consideration by the Board at it’s meeting on 5th April 2011.
In concluding, the Chair, on behalf of the Board, thanked officers and witnesses for their attendance and contribution to the Inquiry.
a) That the contents of the report and appendices be noted.
b) That following the conclusion of its inquiry to review the future of Kirkgate Market, a draft final report and recommendations be submitted to the Board’s next pre meeting for consideration.