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The Vale of Glamorgan Council

Cabinet Meeting: 11 January, 2016

Cabinet Member for Regeneration

Holton Road, Barry - Tuesday Weekly Market

Purpose of the Report

  1. To inform Cabinet of the expiry of the current extension to the licence for Barry's town Centre market on 31st January 2016.
  2. To seek authority for a further 4 month extension for the current provider from 1st February 2016.
  3. To seek authority to re-tender the licence for a weekly market (Tuesdays) in Barry Town Centre to commence from 1st June 2016.
  4. To seek delegated authority to appoint an appropriate operator following the tender process for a licence period of 3 years.

Recommendations

  1. That the current position be noted.
  2. That Cabinet gives authority for a 4 month extension to the current Barry Town Centre Tuesday market operator licence from 1st February until 31st May 2016.
  3. That Cabinet gives authority to the Head of Regeneration and Planning to re-tender the licence for a Tuesday weekly market in Barry Town Centre from 1st June 2016 until 31st May 2019.
  4. That the Head of Finance be granted delegated authority to negotiate terms with the successful bidder, in consultation with the Head of Regeneration and Planning and Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Leader.
  5. That the Head of Legal Services be granted delegated authority to enter into an appropriate agreement with the successful bidder.

Reasons for the Recommendations

  1. To apprise Cabinet of the current situation.
  2. To maintain continuity during re-tender.
  3. To extend the provision to maintain high levels of footfall and increased retail offer in Barry Town Centre.
  4. In order to expedite (3).
  5. To authorise the execution of the relevant agreement.

Background

  1. A weekly market has operated in Barry town centre since 1994. Its origins stem from a need to increase town centre footfall at a time when multiple and independent retailers were struggling to attract visitors and shoppers.
  2. M&B Markets is the current market operator and has held a Licence since 1st October 2010. Initially this was for a period of 4 years but it was extended until 30th April 2015 and again until 31st January 2016. Extensions were granted to monitor timescales and work around potential public realm improvement works (subject to funding) to the pedestrian area which would have meant temporarily repositioning the market. It is now considered unlikely that funding will be identified for major public realm improvements in Holton Road for implementation in the next 3 years.
  3. A footfall survey was undertaken this year which showed that footfall is at its healthiest on Tuesdays, indicating that the market is achieving its original aim of increasing the amount of visitors and shoppers.
  4. A consultation was conducted in October 2014 seeking the opinions of the traders on Holton Road. The majority of those who responded were supportive of the Tuesday market and recognised that it had its place in the town centre and it helped to increase footfall and spend.

Relevant Issues and Options

  1. The evidence demonstrates that Barry market does attract high footfall to the town centre which may benefit static retailers for this period of time.
  2. The type of weekly market offered in Barry town centre has been in decline for some years. Merthyr Tydfil is the only other town that operates this market managed by M&B Markets. It is understood that Barry continues to be one of their most successful markets. However, the traditional market trade is not being adopted by future generations of existing traders which is the primary reason why the market has scaled down in recent years.
  3. Although no funding stream has been identified for the continuation of the public realm improvement works in the town centre, discussions with grant awarding bodies will continue to seek out and establish if funding can be identified for future years.
  4. The boundary of the market area is shown on Appendix A.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

  1. The tendering exercise will determine the maximum income the Council can receive for an appropriate arrangement.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

  1. The licensing of such a market seeks to add to the sustainability and viability of the town centre.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

  1. Should the Council continue with the Tuesday market it will enter into a legal agreement with a market operator for a further 3 year term.

Crime and Disorder Implications

  1. Some evidence exists of increased crime and disorder during busier days in town centres. However, Barry town Centre has a local Police Community Support Officer dedicated to Preventing Anti-social behaviour and a Crime Together Partnership.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

  1. There are no equal opportunities implications.

Corporate/Service Objectives

  1. Service Outcome 1: Residents of the Vale live in safe, health, prosperous and sustainable communities.
  2. Objective 2: To promote a safe, fair, attractive and secure environment for residents, businesses and visitors through a range of activities.

Policy Framework and Budget

  1. This is an executive decision for Cabinet.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

  1. Barry Ward Members for Castleland and Buttrills have been consulted on the report.

Elected Member, Councillor Ian Johnson, Buttrills Ward commented as follows:

 

It is disappointing that there are no short-to-medium funds available for improvements to the eastern part of the town centre, a situation which I am sure would not have occurred had the Welsh Government not radically changed their regeneration programmes from strategic regeneration areas to the Vibrant and Viable Places scheme, and Barry unfortunately not qualifying for the substantial regeneration funds made available.

 

In the circumstances in which we find ourselves, I am happy to support an extension of the current market's lease until a new tendering exercise can be completed and the successful bidder in place. Noting that the Tuesday market-day is currently the busiest day of the week on Holton Road, I hope that the tendering exercise will take into consideration the wider economic impact upon the shopping area and how best to promote spending in Barry town centre on both the market and for established traders, who should also be consulted on how the market impacts upon their businesses, for better or for worse.

  1. Barry town centre traders were consulted in October 2014, as detailed in the report.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

  1. Environment & Economy.

Background Papers

  1. None.

Contact Officer

Mari-Wyn Elias-Jones - Town Centres Development Officer

Officers Consulted

Operational Manager for Regeneration

Principal Business & Employment Officer

Operational Manager for Leisure

Group Estates Officer

Committee Reports, Legal Services

Operational Manager, Accountancy

Responsible Officer:

Rob Thomas - Managing Director

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