Stroud District Council scraps plans to put farmers' market out to tender

Stroud News and Journal: A proposal to put the contract to run Stroud farmers' market out to tender has been scrapped following staunch opposition from stallholders, traders and politicians A proposal to put the contract to run Stroud farmers' market out to tender has been scrapped following staunch opposition from stallholders, traders and politicians

STROUD District Council has called off controversial plans to put the town’s award winning farmers’ market out to tender, the SNJ can reveal.

The decision follows an impassioned meeting between representatives of the district council and around 20 stallholders yesterday (Wednesday).

SDC had come under mounting pressure to withdraw the tender after 2,000 members of the public signed a petition against the move.

Stroud MP Neil Carmichael had also called on the authority to reconsider its decision to invite bids from companies interested in taking over the market.

The SNJ understands that SDC’s Labour leader Geoff Wheeler will make a statement at tonight’s meeting at Ebley Mill to announce the climb down.

On being informed by the SNJ that the tender process had been shelved, the market's current operator Gerb Gerbrands said he was 'relieved' and 'delighted' at the news.

"I'm delighted and obviously relieved. Relief is definitely the main emotion. I'm just happy it's all over for now," he said.

A spokesman for SDC said: "The issue of tendering for the running of the market has obviously created concern among traders.

"Despite our efforts to reassure them that we have every intention of ensuring that the market continues to be a success, they remain worried.

"With this in mind, we have stopped the current tender. The council leader will make a more detailed statement at this evening’s strategy and resources committee meeting.”

UPDATE - 7.05pm

Geoff Wheeler, leader of SDC, has just read out the following statement in the council chamber at Ebley Mill: "There has been a great deal of interest and concern about the tender to re-let Stroud Farmers’ Market in particular from stallholders. 

"The council is very mindful of the role that the farmers' market plays in the business life of Stroud town centre.

"To enable the council to address the concerns which have been raised, the current tender is being stopped pending additional consultation with stakeholders including the market stallholders. 

"A report will be submitted to strategy and resources committee on the 13th of February setting out options, including the future tender of the market, all of which will promote its ongoing success and sustainability. 

"Potential bidders will be notified as soon as possible and other interested parties will be contacted in the New Year."

 

Comments (4)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

4:57pm Thu 19 Dec 13

kjag23 says...

Great!
I hate competition!
Long Live the Gerbs!
Great! I hate competition! Long Live the Gerbs! kjag23

5:29pm Thu 19 Dec 13

joyus1uk says...

Sorry to spoil the celebrations but this will return. Neil Carmichael is voting for a Bill that amends the way that SDC will be audited in the future. SDC will have to be more open and accountable to their electorate so questions will be asked about its support for the Market. Further the Local Government settlement announced yesterday will require that SDC will have to find even greater savings in the next year as well as savings in subsequent years. We are only putting off the day when support for this market will have to be curbed. Better to get the Market up and running on a proper footing now rather than being forced into giving up all support in the not to distant future. The last Conservative administration ducked the issue and the short sighted protesters have forced the current administration to hold off. This will return and is a nettle that has to be grasped.
Sorry to spoil the celebrations but this will return. Neil Carmichael is voting for a Bill that amends the way that SDC will be audited in the future. SDC will have to be more open and accountable to their electorate so questions will be asked about its support for the Market. Further the Local Government settlement announced yesterday will require that SDC will have to find even greater savings in the next year as well as savings in subsequent years. We are only putting off the day when support for this market will have to be curbed. Better to get the Market up and running on a proper footing now rather than being forced into giving up all support in the not to distant future. The last Conservative administration ducked the issue and the short sighted protesters have forced the current administration to hold off. This will return and is a nettle that has to be grasped. joyus1uk

3:44pm Fri 20 Dec 13

K D Cranston says...

My understanding is that SDC rent the market from the owners and then sub let it to the farmers Market for one day a week. If SDC found other users for some or all of the other six days in the week then there would be no problem. There is no subsidy to the Farmers Market.
My understanding is that SDC rent the market from the owners and then sub let it to the farmers Market for one day a week. If SDC found other users for some or all of the other six days in the week then there would be no problem. There is no subsidy to the Farmers Market. K D Cranston

4:54pm Fri 20 Dec 13

steve1234 says...

Complete lack of understanding and short sightedness from the farmers market traders and operators. YES it is a great asset to Stroud and has done well in recent years. However at a time of massive cuts from central government having a big effect on vital services, can we really afford to subsidise this to the level we do (by free utilities, insurance etc), there needs to be a greater level of transparency in this hence the tendering process to find the best option for the people of Stroud. Some people need to get real that the vast majority of people in the area cannot afford to shop there and as great as the market is it is a middle class luxury.
Complete lack of understanding and short sightedness from the farmers market traders and operators. YES it is a great asset to Stroud and has done well in recent years. However at a time of massive cuts from central government having a big effect on vital services, can we really afford to subsidise this to the level we do (by free utilities, insurance etc), there needs to be a greater level of transparency in this hence the tendering process to find the best option for the people of Stroud. Some people need to get real that the vast majority of people in the area cannot afford to shop there and as great as the market is it is a middle class luxury. steve1234

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree