The Civic Society registered its objections to elements of the proposals for the Burton Market contained in the ESBC publication "Burton Market - A Venue for Change" and the accompanying questionnaire in July 2012, whilst at the same time emphasising our support for the principle of investing in the regeneration of the Market Place and Market Hall.
The Burton upon Trent Civic Society wish to affirm that they have at no time purported to represent any of the market traders, as is inferred in the articles published in the Burton Mail on 12th and 13th February 2013. For further information and to read people's comments, scroll down or click here…
Lawns Farm (Branston Locks) - Planning Application 2012/01467
On 10th December the Burton Civic Society submitted its formal objection to an Outline Planning Application (Ref: 2012/01467) in respect of the development of the Lawns Farm/Branston Locks site to the west of the A38, running between Shobnall Road to the north and the road running west towards Tatenhill to the south. The Civic Society has consistently objected to the development of this site in both the last Local Plan Enquiry and in respect of the current Draft Local Plan – Preferred Option. We have given the following reasons for our objections: Click here to read…
We have been in talks with Staffordshire County Council about refurbishment and maintenance of the Ferry Bridge, one of our town's most recognisable landmarks, a great piece of engineering and part of our heritage. A principal inspection has taken place. Repairs to the bridge walkway were completed earlier this year. A site meeting between ourselves, Staffordshire County Council, English Heritage and consulting engineers was held to confirm and agree what we jointly want to achieve subject to funding.
We have responded in depth to the Local Plan Preferred Option 2012.
For further information on ESBC's Local Plan Preferred Options, click here…
South Derbyshire District Council have issued a 'Strategic Land Availability Assessment' which includes agricultural land in Derbyshire immediately adjacent to Winshill, at Newton Road and Hawfield Lane. We have indicated our opposition to any extension of the town over the county boundary in this area. The plan is currently out for consultation.
We have taken an active part in the ESBC consultation of future use of the Washlands.
In the spring of 2012, we made a site visit to Beam Hill where a significant housing development was proposed. An outlined planning application has been submitted to which we responded but we note that the site is not included as an option in the Local Plan.
To read comments about Burton Market, scroll down or click here
FRIENDS OF BURTON MARKET
was formed in January 2013, and met with Andrew Griffiths, MP, on 1st of February.
Follow them on Facebook here or search for Friends of Burton Market.
Reference material: (for Burton Mail articles, be sure to read the comments that follow):
'Lacklustre' ice rink made £1,692 LOSS in first outing (Burton Mail, 18 March 2013) Nb on the Friends of Burton Market Facebook page, there is a posting with a link to a Freedom of Information request. The Burton Mail followed this link, and their article picks up from there.
Facebook posting: Friends of Burton Market page (15 March 2013)
Signed letters to move traders to market place (Burton Mail, 28 February 2013)
Trader 'point score' anger (Burton Mail, 13 February 2013)
Octagon market move is dubbed a 'cynical ploy' (Burton Mail, 7 February 2013)
Photos of Burton's market hall, 1 Feb 2013
Current state of Burton's markets, 14 Jan 2013
Market hall stalls by numbers, Jan 2013
Council makes 'monster' out of Burton – claim (Burton Mail, 16 January 2013)
Icy reception as council pays £27k* for Burton ice rink (Burton Mail, 24 December 2012)
Complaints made over Burton outdoor market move (Burton Mail, 17 December 2012)
'Left behind' market fruit and veg stall lays off staff (Burton Mail, 3 December 2012)
Optician fears market plans are short-sighted (Burton Mail, 7 November 2012)
Plans to pull down market buildings get the go-ahead (Burton Mail, 27 October 2012)
Shopkeepers left in the dark over market plans (Burton Mail, 18 September 2012)
Burton-upon-Trent Market Hall revamp approved (BBC News Stoke & Staffordshire, 14 August 2012)
Concerns raised over Burton-upon-Trent market plans (BBC News Stoke & Staffordshire, 11 August 2012)
Traders oppose Burton-on-Trent market hall refurbishment (BBC News Stoke & Staffordshire, 3 August 2012)
Articles from Civic Society Newsletter, Autumn 2012:
Market Hall Redevelopment Plans
Our Market: Market Consultation Process Must be Re-done
Our Market: The Wrong Department is Shaping Burton Market's Future
Links to ESBC's:
LEAFLET (A Venue for Change) – ESBC's proposed changes to Burton Market
ESBC Report to Cabinet, 13 August 2012
'Answers to Common Questions/Queries' (Appendix A)
'Summary of Consultation Document Responses' (Appendix B)
'Council Summary of Traders Proposal and Answers to Questions Raised Through Independent Survey' (Appendix C)
ESBC Cabinet Meeting of 13 August 2012 in which market changes were approved
Markets in England
Links to research by Communities and Local Government Committee:
Market Failure?: Can the traditional market survive?
Communities and Local Government Committee held a 6-week online consultation in 2009, inviting responses from traders to these questions:
1. What more could be done, and by whom, to improve markets and assist market trading?
2. Is it becoming harder to run a market stall, and if so why?
3. What makes a successful market?
For the full report visit: www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200809/cmselect/cmcomloc/308/30802.htm
For just the summary of the online consultation: www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200809/cmselect/cmcomloc/308/30813.htm#a47
From the New Economics Foundation:
Research carried out in 2006 that makes many good points (with particular reference to Queens Market in London): Markets create twice as many jobs as supermarkets and food is half the price
National Market Traders Federation: www.nmtf.co.uk
Nabma (National Association of British Market Authorities): www.nabma.com
Comments about Burton Market, and the Council's proposed changes to it
Re changing market trading days
Re online questionnaire for commenting on ESBC's Proposal
Re the proposal that the market square be an entertainment venue in the evening
Re severe drop in trade to Market Hall stallholders
Re lack of advertising for the market
Re Burton Market consultation - the time frame
Re Burton Market traders - manner in which they were told of the Council's planned changes
Re Burton Market traders – interview requirements for them to continue trading
Re skating rink
Re changing market trading days
It seems that the council is aiming to gentrify the market, but that would mean making it irrelevant to those who currently shop there. Moving to a six-day-a-week market, in my experience, only works in the biggest of cities. In market towns it simply dilutes the impact of 'market day'. To read more click here…
Excerpt from email from Phil Harriss, writer specialising in street markets (both farmers' and traditional food markets), MA in food policy, and author of London Markets (Cadogan 1996, 1999, 2002)
The public were used as a tool to 'develop' the Proposal [proposed changes to Burton Market], rather than being asked to comment on whether they actually agreed with the Proposal or not. A Consultation with that aim is not a true and fair Consultation… Why did ESBC not include a question in the Questionnaire as to whether people agreed that the Market should trade 6 days a week? Summarised from Carol Palmer's letter of complaint to Andy O'Brien
Markets that are still doing well are trading on their traditional market days [1 or 2 days/week, not throughout the week]: Bakewell, Melton Mowbray, Kenilworth, Stratford.* When Burton Council decided to increase the days of Burton market trading from the traditional 2 (Thursdays & Saturdays) to 3 days/week, they found they couldn't get decent stall holders to fill the extra day (Friday) and the quality of Burton Market went down.
From conversation with former Burton Market Trader
*Note: Stratford Market had been run for 50 years by Sketts; Stratford's Council have chosen a different company to run it (Geraud) so whether it continues traditional-day trading is yet to be known.]
Re online questionnaire for commenting on ESBC's Proposal
(proposed changes to the market)
It is very difficult to make comments that are not in line with the proposals.
On the whole the questionnaire seems loaded towards the proposals.
It does not cover all the areas or changes outlined in the leaflet.
…there does not seem to be much time in which to respond.
Why was the survey not included in the ESBC News which goes out to every household in the borough?
I hope these concerns will be considered when looking at the results of the survey.
Excerpts from Michele White's email (ESBC resident for 37 years) to Alison Gardiner at ESBC
If the On-line Questionnaire and the brochure Burton Market - A Venue for Change were the only consultation documents made available, they were insufficient for public consultation. Why weren't paper copies of the Proposal and the Questionnaire available at the Town Hall or the Library, or mentioned in the ES News newsletter? If the Questionnaire was available only on-line, then the Authority has failed in its duty to ensure that the Consultation was available to all. Would ESBC consider the lamentable lack of publicly available evidence to underpin the Proposal, an inadequate foundation for the spending of £1.54m of public money?
Summarised from Carol Palmer's letter of complaint to Andy O'Brien.
Re the proposal that the market square be an entertainment venue in the evening:
The public were consulted about the details of an already chosen Option [the one that included plans for the market hall to be an entertainment venue in the evening]… the public were not consulted about [the other 3 options]; if they had been, that would have represented a proper consultation. How can ESBC satisfy the public's concern that the Proposal was a 'fait accompli' when that's exactly what it was? Summarised from Carol Palmer's letter of complaint to Andy O'Brien.
I think it is wrong what the council are going to do the market, it will become another white elephant like the Bargates, not thought out about the market place at all.
Received by email from Mrs Kay Moore, a Burton Market shopper
Re severe drop in trade to Market Hall stallholders:
'Seven stall-holders have left since changes to the market were pushed though, and 3 more have given notice' Dee Jones was told by a Market Hall trader who'd given notice. He'd been told by Stephen Hinds in response to his giving notice that he [the trader] wasn't giving the ice rink and fun fair time for the increased footfall to filter through to the market hall. The trader told Dee, 'This isn't true; there isn't an increased footfall.' From conversation between Dee Jones and a Burton Market trader (name withheld by web editor), 6 December 2012
[The 7 stall-holders who've left since the changes were announced are: Lady Jane (cupcakes); Bargain Box (hardware); Pick 'n' Mix (sweets); coach tour company - the original coach tour and its replacement coach tour company have both left; Ann (knitting); Claudia (nails); Julia's Jewellery. Three more leave at the end of December.]
Re lack of advertising for the market:
Traders pay the Council £12+VAT to park behind the market hall; this parking money is to go towards advertising the market. Where has there been advertising for the market? The skating rink was well advertised: colour leaflets printed, a huge colour sign by the college entrance, front page on ESBC News - the market had none of this.
From conversation between Dee Jones and a Burton Market trader, 6 December 2012
Re Burton Market consultation - the time frame:
How did ESBC reach the conclusion that 3 weeks was long enough for the Consultation?… being 1/3 of a Central Government Department's timeframe, renders it unreasonably short by comparison.
Summarised from Carol Palmer's letter of complaint to Andy O'Brien
Re Burton Market traders - manner in which they were told of the Council's planned changes:
After a meeting was called for 17 00Hrs Thursday 21st last [June 2012], the outcome some 30 minutes later was a mixture of shock and disbelief at what we had just been told. No one was prepared for what was said by Mr Hinds or the manner in which the meeting was held. To read more click here…
Description of events recorded by Burton Market trader (name withheld by web editor)
The lack of respect for the current market traders, their opinions and their efforts is shameful… I would like to remind the council that Burton Market traders have been asking and trying for interest, investment and action for years. It is poor management on the council's part which has brought Burton Market to its current state. To read more click here…
Excerpt of letter to Burton Mail from Helen Wheat, former Burton Market Trader
Re Burton Market traders – interview requirements for them to continue trading
Burton Market traders were asked to meet with ESBC and asked to sign confidentiality agreements as well as not being allowed to bring legal representation along with them; and also asked to supply the last 2 years' accounts and a cash-flow forecast for the next 2 financial years - this seems very heavy handed treatment of Burton Market's traders*.
Summarised from Carol Palmer's letter of complaint to Andy O'Brien
*Web editor's note: Many of these traders have been trading in Burton Market Hall for years, some for decades.
Re skating rink:
Derby city centre have a rink - a large ice rink that they rent over the winter months. Burton's rink is a small plastic rink which the Council have bought (£30,000) and which, from my observations, struggles to attract skaters - more often than not, it's empty. The first thing you want with a skating rink is that it's large enough to build up speed when skating; Burton's rink is not. I think a skating rink could work in Burton town centre: a large ice rink, but this isn't what we've got, and it's these sorts of ill-thought-out decisions that are so worrying - to buy a small plastic rink before they've even tested the market with a rented rink, when rented rinks are available. Who is approving these sorts of costly decisions? Delora Jones
I would estimate that there were approximately 20 people who used the ice rink today between the hours of 10 and 6. At quarter past six they were closing it up! To read more click here…
From 5 Dec 2012 email from Helen Wheat, former Burton Market Trader
[Burton's skating rink is open till 7pm; if the 20 skaters were adults, that's £5/ea, so £100. That leaves just over £11/hr to split between the 3 ice-rink staff. On Fri, 30th Nov. 2012, Cllr Leese said on Radio Derby: 'we've taken a goodly amt of money [from the ice rink] which tells us that we've got the right idea'. What he says and what is observed don't match.]
We were in the market place at about 11 o clock yesterday [Tues, 4th Dec. 2012] and there was not one person on the ice rink then or in fact when we returned about half an hour later… Not only that but part of the fair (the big wheel) was dismantled, ready to be taken away, presumably because they were not making any profit through lack of customers. This seems to me to show just how much research went into this project before it was thrust upon Burton at more cost to the voting public. Was the fair the council's idea or the town centre management, and who paid for this, I wonder?
I listened to [Radio Derby's Breakfast Programme on markets, 30 Nov 2012] and wonder just how many people listened and actually believed what was said about the market [i.e., Councillor Leese saying they'd had over 200 skaters the first weekend and that they were well on their way to making back their money on the rink]. Then wondered how many times people can manipulate a statement to make it seem like the actual facts.
Excerpts from email sent by Burton Market trader (name withheld by web editor), 5 Dec. 2012
submitted to Burton Mail 19 Jan 2013:
Councillor Leese said in the Burton Mail that their research into other markets supports what the Council is doing (as regards Burton Market), but if you look at Burton Market, you'll see these plans are not working, underlined by the number of traders who've left the market hall or given notice, and they've done so because tbeir takings no longer covered their expenses, and this was down to one thing: the drop in footfall in the market hall following the move of the outdoor market. Traders are businessmen & women; their accounts have to balance and if they don't, they have to act which, in extreme cases, means shutting up shop.
He went on to say that 'the vast majority of existing market traders whole-heartedly support the market development'; well, these traders can't be the traders on Burton Market because when I spoke with them individually prior to the market split, those supporting the council's plans for the market totalled less than 10 - that is not a majority, let alone a vast majority of the traders I spoke with, and it is time that Cllr Leese stop being so free and easy with the truth. He said on Radio Derby that the skating rink cost £30,000; the Burton Mail quotes it as £27,000 - which is it, or is £3,000 such a piddling amount to Cllr Leese that it's not worth the bother?
When he says 'the council has taken the decision to redevelop the market to ensure the market's longevity', doesn't he, in fact, mean the market hall's longevity? From our councillors, I've seen no support of nor interest in market trading.
And as for individual traders spending their own money to advertise their stalls, what about the money in the market-advertising account (funded by the parking fees collected off the traders)? What's happened to this money?
The claim was also made by Cllr Leese that 'Since its move to Station Street the footfall for the market has increased' – anyone with eyes or ears knows this is not true - you can hear footfall, but you don't hear much on Burton Market, and stallholders don't quit a market if they're making ends meet. Wake up, Cllr Leese, it's time to face reality, the same reality our market traders have had to face. Don't you think it's time for a proper consultation about our market, whilst we still have one, a consultation in which you listen to the traders and the market shoppers? If you don't have traders, you don't have a market.
from Dee Jones
submitted to Burton Mail 12 Jan 2013:
Most of the Traders have left,because they are not making enough money to pay the rent. They have written to the council asking for a reduction in rent, due to the drastic decrease in footfall, which the council have created by moving the outdoor market to station street. The answer was very scathing and basically said, your problem, its up to each individual to advertise their business.These Traders have worked for weeks without taking a wage out of their businesses for themselves. Now Mr counil spokesman, does that pay the mortgage? I think not! The ones that left before, saw the writing on the wall and left the ship before it sunk. As to the nonsense about hanging on for compensation, very few will be entitled to more than £1,000.Not a sum to get excited about especially when you have worked for months without an income.These Traders also know they cannot work from "popup gazebo's" in the centre of the market hall, which will have to be emptied every evening, what are they supposed to do? Let me tell you conservative council you have created a monster, destroyed a lot of peoples lives, devastated most of the elderly population of Burton on Trent.! If there was a local election this year you would be in dire straits,as most people want you out for destroying their MARKET TOWN. As for the roaring success down Station Street, except for one stallholder, most are taking no more money than when they were in the Market Square. In fact one friend, a Trader in Station Street, told me they had never taken so little money on a market in all the years they had been a Market Trader on any of their markets. You can take a horse to water but you can't make it drink. The footfall may be better, but the money isn't coming in. Burton's public would love the Market back in the Market square, and now that sorry excuse for a fair has gone, and given the fact that Town Centre Management have no plans for events for the Market Square until the Summer why can't it happen? The outdoor Market was a feed through for the Hall, if ever the council needed proof this is it. The Market Hall and the outdoor Market need to be together.It is like a close knit community, the atmosphere, the social chit chat, the bespoke businesses, the friendship. The people that have left the Market Hall will be a great loss to Burton's shoppers, a couple have managed to relocate within Burton Town centre, ie Julies Design has gone down Station street, Framing Lovely will be situated within Simnetts photography in Guild Street, the others however are struggling to find somewhere they can afford within the Town Centre.. For what? This proposal that nobody wants, a very sorry state of affairs. Reconsider Council please, before more damage is done. PS you could always put the ice rink on eBay and get some of our council tax money back!
from Burton Market stallholder Wendy Newitt
submitted to Burton Mail 10 Jan 2013:
The Council will not listern to anything that the indoor market stallholders have to say regarding improvements,that is why twelve stalls have closed since the Council anounced their plans last year. The Council are responsible for the current state of the market hall, not the stallholders.
The following comments were submitted to Burton Mail 17-20 Dec 2012
Wake up and smell the coffee East Staffs Council! this has achieved absolutely nothing. An ice rink that nobody wants and a couple of fair rides is a total waste of a useful space. Get the market back in it's rightful place and go and take a look at your neighbours in Tamworth and see what a good market they have on a Tuesday and a Friday.
from Kevin, submitted to Burton Mail 20 Dec 2012
The council are out of touch with what this town needs. A total revamp of the existing market place, somewhere for teenagers to go at night, the encouragement of new businesses into th town and help for the traders who have been supporting Burton for a number of years. We are not a big city. We dont need an ice rink or a fun fair, just action to make our town somewhere for everyone.
from Julie Green, submitted to Burton Mail 20 Dec 2012
I honestly have no idea why the council have done what they have done with the Market place. The Ice Rink and 'funfair' is pathetic. As soon as you get on the ice rink you have reached the other side, it is that small. It is an embarrassment and it has caused people to lose their livlihood...and for what?
from Yvonne, submitted to Burton Mail 19 Dec 2012
Personally i have not yet seen one person using the ice rink or the rides behind it. I certanly cant afford for my children to have expensive rides on these things with how much food shopping costs these days - seriously what sort of people does this expect to attract? People being laid off work and losing businessess they have spent years and years building up for this farcical whim is ridiculos. If the council want to do something for the people, a proper bowling alley wouldnt go amis. I dont think the council even seriously considered the health and saftey implications of the rink, never mind anything else. The whole thing is flimsy and there are warnings 'not to hold onto the sides' - which is the whole point of ice skating. And then to pass the blame onto the public at large saying 'well you wanted these things' is ludicrous! I seriously think they should get rid of these stupid attractions asap and return the real market so the poor people who own stalls at least have a chance to make their living over the christmas period, and hopefully revert to full trading asap!
from Claire G, submitted to Burton Mail 18 Dec 2012
The Council should look to review the current situation regarding Burton market positioning as I think it has been an abject failure. The Market Stalls in Station Street look out of place and whenever I have walked down the street the public just appear to be ignoring them. Please consult the Market Traders again and put the Stalls back where they belong in the Market Place. I asked the Plant man opposite Paul's Cafe if there was a petition I could sign to get the Market re-instated and he said the Council had made it's choice and there was little chance of them changing it. If anyone want to starts a petition please let me know and I will sign it.
from David Jones, submitted to Burton Mail 17 Dec 2012
Note: All comments about Burton Market are welcome - both positive and negative comments together as it's both sides of the picture that help to reveal the best way forward for the market. If you've a comment to contribute, email it to email@example.com and put 'Burton Market Comments' in the reference line. For any comments appearing in Comments about Burton Market (above), permission is always obtained first. For any comments submitted by current Burton Market traders, it has been the web editor's decision to withhold their names. For anyone else submitting comments and wishing their name to be withheld, we have done so.