THE district council has agreed to renew the Stroud farmers’ market license with the current operators for a further three years.

At the strategy and resources committee meeting held at the council offices tonight, Thursday, councillors debated for almost an hour on the future of the award-winning market.

Three options were considered including renewing the licence with Made in Stroud for three years, putting the contract out to tender or for the district council to take over the running of the market itself.

Cllr Simon Pickering (Green, Slade) proposed that the committee resolves to delegate authority to the Head of Asset Management to renew the licence to Made in Stroud Ltd to operate a weekly farmers’ market, and monthly flea market, at Cornhill Market Square and adjacent streets for a further three years.

However the proposal is subject to a number of conditions including that the operator provides its accounts for the market for the last three years by the end of July.

The agreement is also subject to a new licence fee, the agreement and implementation of a complaints and appeals procedure for settling disputes at the market to include Stroud District Council and stallholders representatives, the development of a business continuity plan and also that members of the strategy and resources committee be consulted on any terms which cannot be agreed.

It was also agreed that the head of asset management explores alternative models of operating the market in order for the Council to consider how it wishes the market to be operated in the future.

There was a public outcry in December when the district council revealed plans to invite new bidders to run the market in Cornhill.

Therefore a public consultation was launched in February after 2,000 members of the public signed a petition against the move.