Market motion a step forward for Hertford

29 Jan 2022

Press Release

Hertford Liberal Democrats
EMBARGO: Immediate

Market motion a step forward for Hertford

At the full council meeting of Hertford Town Council on Monday 17th January, A Green and Liberal Democrat motion to look again at taking over the running of the market as well as other measures was passed.

Taking control of the market from East Herts District Council was looked at and rejected at the Development & Leisure committee meeting of 18 June 2018.

A new report will now be prepared looking at the options including bringing Hertford market under community control. This will provisionally be discussed at the Development & Leisure meeting of 28th February.

Councillor Porrer (Hertford Kingsmead) said:

"East Herts District council first announced it wanted to give up control of the markets back in 2018. Hertford Town Council looked at taking on control in June 2018 but rejected it. The report produced at the time, setting out the case was confidential and, as I wasn't a councillor at the time, I am not allowed to see it. Therefore I don't know why the decision was taken not to take control of our own market when Bishop's Stortford did."

Cllr Porrer added:

"However a lot has happen since then to negatively affect our town centre, not least Covid and the delay of major projects like Bircherley Green. I am therefore please that the council agreed to look again at this."

He concluded:

"Taking control of their market has allowed Bishop's Stortford to manage it for the benefit of their town by introducing things like a New Trader rate. It would be really good if we in Hertford could do the same to help revitalise our town centre."

ENDS

Notes to Editors:

The full text of the motion (Item 6, Paper A, page 3):

Hertford Town Council notes that Hertford is an historic market town and recognises that the market has a critical role in the regeneration of the Town Centre. A thriving market will increase footfall to the benefit of all businesses in the town. We are concerned by the dramatic drop in the number of stalls hiring space in recent years.

We know that many prospective hirers are put off by the high cost of stalls yet it's difficult to see if any of this money goes towards promotion of the market. We propose that:

  1. At the next Development and Leisure Committee we discuss the questions we need to put to East Herts District Council.
  1. We then put these questions to the District Council and request a meeting with officers to explore solutions and identify actions.
  1. The discussion should include consideration of bringing the market under community control and therefore we request Hertford Town Council officers to obtain the latest information from East Herts District Council in order to then prepare a report laying out the pros and cons of various approaches for the councillors to consider.

Proposed Tony Tarrega

Seconded Andrew Porrer

You can download the full agenda here: https://www.hertford.gov.uk/uploads/cms/meetingfile/1882/agenda-17-january-22-e-version-file.pdf

Details of the Bishop's Stortford Market: https://www.bishopsstortfordtc.gov.uk/market