Swanley Sunday Market Pilot Update
The Portfolio Holder for Cleaner & Greener introduced the report which provided an update on the Swanley Sunday Market 6 month pilot and recommended that the pilot be extended by another 6 months. The Cleaner & Greener Advisory Committee had considered the same report and recommended that the extension be approved.
The Head of Direct Services advised that Bray Associates commenced the proposed 6-month pilot on Sunday 3April 2022 missing any Sunday dates agreed with Swanley Town Council. They had been responsible for the total management of the Sunday market, including publicity, marketing, operations and litter management. The Business Development Team and Direct Services had been monitoring the Sunday market pilot with planned meetings with the contractor, local businesses and the site owners, along with un-announced visits on a Sunday.
A public survey had been undertaken to engage with local people about the Sunday market pilot and to help evaluate the additional Sunday market and its operation under the pilot. The survey ran from 16 August to 16 September 2022.
The survey received 699 responses from members of the public with over 79% stating that they had visited the Sunday market. 85% of respondents were from a Swanley postal code. The results were generally split 50/50 on whether the market was a good idea, good value, good selection of goods to the opposite not needed or not good value and that it was just a copy of the Wednesday market.
It was recommended that a full procurement tender exercise was undertaken for the Swanley street markets to operate on Wednesday and Sundays as the Wednesday market contract would end on the 31 March 2023.
The Head of Direct Services confirmed that he had also kept in constant consultation with the Town Council and the survey had received a high response rate. As the results of the survey had been divided, it was recommended that the pilot be extended for another 6 months to allow time for the Market to progress.
Members discussed the report. Some Members had attended the Market and had received lots of positive feedback from attendees as well as support for the Market from local shops and services. Some Members raised concerns over the lack of diversity of the stalls and the rubbish that the Market produced.
The Head of Direct Services confirmed that he had attended a meeting of the Town Council in which the concerns over rubbish had been expressed and had increased waste management services for the Market as a result. He had also encouraged Bray Associates to increase litter pickers on the days of the Market as well as visiting local shops to remind them of their duties to collect any rubbish from their premises. Cabinet had also approved a £25,000 Grant for the Town Council which could be used to provide extra relief for the rubbish.
Public Sector Equality Duty
Members noted that consideration had been given to impacts under the Public Sector Equality Duty.
Resolved: That the additional Swanley Sunday Market extension request be approved.