The Committee heard from the Assistant Director of Commercial and Operational Services regarding a report seeking approval for future funding of the West Lindsey Markets function. It was explained that, at their meeting in January, the Prosperous Communities Committee considered a report regarding the future delivery of street markets in West Lindsey, as the culmination of work undertaken by Officers and a leading sector consultancy, Quarterbridge. Presented in the Prosperous Communities Committee report was a proposal for the future operation of street markets in the District. It included a change of focus to move away from attempts to achieve cost neutrality and more towards an acceptance that the markets were key cultural assets that brought a USP and as such, should be invested in as part of the West Lindsey offer. The proposals had been approved by the committee and as such, the paper this evening was seeking funding approval from the Corporate Policy and Resources Committee.
The Chairman thanked the Assistant Director and invited Councillor O. Bierley, as Chairman of the Prosperous Communities Committee, to make comment. He explained that the proposals had been debated in detail at the meeting and the move to accentuate the markets as a part of the cultural heritage of West Lindsey had been welcomed. He praised the Officers for their work and moved the recommendations.
There was further discussion amongst Members of the Committee, in turns praising the approach as well as questioning the validity of, for example, transportable stalls. It was explained that there were aspirational elements which may not suit the specifics of the markets in the three main towns, however the aims was to maximise the cultural aspects and the financial burden would be reduced over time.
With widespread support from the Committee, and having been moved and seconded, the Chairman took the vote and it was unanimously
a) the proposed Market budget (as detailed at 2.5 of the report) into the Medium Term Financial Plan 2022/23-2026/27 be approved; and
b) £100k of the Cultural Strategy Reserve to be earmarked to support the future development of Markets be approved.