Agenda item


Members gave consideration to a report which sought a decision on the future delivery model for the Gainsborough Market. Two options had been investigated in depth and these were detailed within the report.  The benefits, risks and costs associated with each option were also fully detailed.


Debate ensued with the majority of Members accepting that both options posed both an element of risk and benefit. 


Members in turn expressed their views regarding each of the options, the benefits they perceived and the potential risks posed, with neither option being particularly favoured for a variety of reasons.  It was suggested that a hybrid of the two options may be more favourable.


In response to some comments it was stressed the Traders’ Business Plan, which was over a year old was an outline Business Case and in the event that a decision was made to outsource the market a more robust case would be required and its content and assumptions would be challenged through the evaluation process.


The Head of Paid Service indicated that if Members were minded to further consider delivery models other than the in-house option, a procurement exercise would need to be undertaken.  Members needed to be mindful that such a process would take time to undertake and Members had already accepted that there was an urgent need to develop and improve the Markets in Gainsborough. 


The Head of Paid Service indicated a set of alternative recommendations had been drafted, that would assist in smoothing the process, whilst continuing to try and improve the markets in the intervening period, if Members were minded to undertake a procurement exercise.


The Committee took a 5 minute recess in order to allow Members to digest the tabled recommendations.


The meeting re-convened at 8.11pm.


Members on the whole were supportive of the revised recommendations and considered they were both flexible and supportive. 


A number of other alternative providers were suggested, however it was stressed that all such options would need to be the subject of a procurement exercise.


It was noted that the word “principles” needed to be replaced with “objectives”.  Members also sought and received confirmation that the second recommendation tabled should refer to section 5 of the report as a whole, as opposed to paragraph 5.01 as stated.


The two minor amendments were moved, seconded and approved.


The tabled recommendations as amended above, and having being moved and seconded were put to the vote, and on that basis it was: -


RESOLVED that: -


(a)          Officers be tasked to procure a partner organisation and/or market operator to run markets in the market Square in Gainsborough on behalf of the Council.  The operation of the markets by a partner or other organisation should adhere to the vision and objectives for the market agreed by the Committee at its meeting on 12 September 2017.  Any agreement for a third party to run markets in the Market Square in Gainsborough should enable the Council to control the form, frequency and type of market operated, including a break clause which would allow the Council to take back control of the market in appropriate circumstances; and


(b)          in recognition that any procurement process designed to achieve recommendation 1 above would take time to complete, and that there is an urgent need to develop and improve the Markets in Gainsborough, Officers are tasked to implement the improvements associated with Option A, in-house delivery, immediately as set out in section 5 of the report and the business plan (appendix 1 of the report), including the development and implementation of a “Promotion and Events Strategy” using the in-house communications resource.



Note:         All Members present declared a personal interest in the above item of business as one of their fellow Councillors was named in the Traders Business Plan.