Memorandum by Bolton Council (MARKETS
The Markets Industry in the UK is in need of
support if it is to retain its long held traditions as a nurturing
ground for small businesses and an anchor/community hub.
Although the likes of TESCO'S, Marks and Spencer,
and Morrison's all started out life on Markets, without Government
intervention, it is difficult to see how these successes can be
replicated to aspire and inspire future generations. The Planning
"needs test", employing professional lobbyists and philanthropic
gestures are unavailable to this section of the retail industry.
Opportunities such as this Select Committee are warmly welcomed.
It is no longer reasonable to assume that pure
"retail market forces" will deliver on Socio economic
priorities such as "place making" or even "place
keeping". Why? Because ultimately the payback ability of
the more deprived areas of the UK will mean that some locations
may not be worth investing in by the private sector if their only
driver is financial profit. Local Government must fill the void.
Tie this into national priorities around health
and the need for employment especially amongst those in deprived
communities who are young and unskilled and it becomes obvious
that without targeted interventions to promote self worth and
self help, the Government and Local Councils are in danger of
not fulfilling their social wellbeing obligations.
Markets have the ability to breathe life into
otherwise dead space. They create a sense of theatre and place
and can be a source of tremendous civic pride. They rely on an
ever decreasing client base of existing independent retailers
and there is now a real need to find and encourage new entrepreneurs
to keep the tradition that is a Market Stall alive.
Local Authorities have a lead role to play in
designing and delivering a social and physical infrastructure
for the communities that they serve which is reliable, inclusive
and fit for purpose both now and in future. This submission seeks
to explain how a typical local authority Markets Service will
add value to those priorities.
This evidence is based on current thinking around
re-energising the Markets Portfolio at Bolton Council and how
this fits into the work of this Select Committee.
It is a copy of a Committee Report that was
presented to the Environmental Services Policy Development Group
chaired by the Executive Member for the Environment on the Council.
It should be read as a case study alongside the evidence submitted
by the Retail Markets Alliance (RMA) and the National Association
of British Market Authorities (NABMA). The submission outlines
a strategy that seeks to deliver (at local level) the national
outcomes and priorities suggested by Central Government as they
stand today from an operational markets point of view. Whilst
it acknowledges that Markets are part of the retail industry in
the United Kingdom it does concentrate on describing how local
government policy outcomes can be delivered.
Bolton is one of the largest towns in England
and is an integral part of the Manchester City Region. Bolton's
heritage as an important textile town is reflected in its attractions
and architecture with 600 individual buildings listed as
being of special interest.
The Bolton Borough covers 54 square miles
and has a population of 265,000. It has an increasingly diverse
community profile and has a growing tradition in cycling, boxing
and Premiership Football. It is also home to some of Britain's
best loved comedians.
Bolton Council is a 4 Star Local Authority
that is improving and achieved Beacon Status in 2007 for
preventing and tackling anti social behaviour.
The physical regeneration of the Borough is
also progressing with major schemes planned for the Town Centre
and district centres. In most a local market proposition is central
to each development.
To complement this physical regeneration the
role of the Markets Service is growing in significance, especially
with regard to healthy eating/lifestyle issues as a low cost opportunity
to set up in business and as an opportunity to place keep by delivering
themed market events that allow communities to engage and celebrate
The Select Committee are requested to:
Recommend the creation of a funded national
pilot scheme to trial the concept of a Markets Apprenticeship
Scheme. Applications could be assessed on a matched funding basis.
Recommend that the Industry be allocated a prominent
advocate within a relevant Government Office who would be empowered
to facilitate ongoing and continuous proactive dialogue on all
relevant national policy matters perhaps via the Retail Markets
Support a bid to create funding (perhaps through
RDAs) to underwrite an analysis of local independent food supply
chains in the UK. This work would have a strategic fit with the
"live" DEFRA Select Committee on food security and will
help the industry to maximise the potential on its emerging USP
as a distribution mechanism for local food and drink. Models for
this already exist in Europe (see Rungis Wholesale Market, Paris
Support the creation of national data on the
retail and wholesale markets industry via perhaps via CIPFA statistics
(simple profit or loss to begin with) or the CAA basis that begins
to capture the City Regional benefits of local markets which in
turn will help to baseline future policy and future interventions.