3.1 Ms Parkinson presented the report. Members were being asked to consider street trading charges for 2019/20 to take effect on 1 April 2019. As required by law, the proposed increase in charges had been advertised in the local newspaper. Representations were requested from all interested parties and market traders written to individually at their home addresses. No representations were received against the proposed charges. The increases have been recommended to pay for increase in cleansing and waste collection from the markets, which is a 3-4% increase. She outlined the increase in casual and permanent licences.
3.2 Councillor Wise said that although officers try to increase occupancy rates in this borough’s market, the occupancy rates Catford and Deptford markets are well behind other markets. She asked whether officers have any plans to increase this. Ms Parkinson said that she wrote to the London Markets board and Deptford is to become one of the selected visitor sites for their conference which takes place in June. It is hoped this will help to raise the profile with a legacy of increased footfall. Since taking on her current role, Ms Parkinson has been trying to bring the markets up to a safe standard; banning fork lift vehicles for example and there have been upgrades for electrical equipment. In addition, the GLA are starting up a project in Deptford. Subsidised pitches will be offered to young people as a way of trying out new business. Lewisham will soon be making a bid for this.
3.3 The Chair said that she has been to Deptford market recently on a Saturday and the footfall is poor. She asked whether this is due, in part, to the parking situation. Ms Parkinson agreed. She said that there is limited parking in the side streets, but high street parking is a national problem and there is a reduction in patrons visiting them. A pride event will be held in Deptford soon and this will bring more patrons. It is hoped that more events like this will be held in Deptford which usually increases footfall. The Mayor also wants to increase night time economy which is something that officers wish to promote for local people.
3.4 Councillor Millbank referred to paragraph 4.3 in the report. She asked what the implications were of not carrying on cross subsidy. Ms Der Man said that legally markets must be ring fenced so that they are self financing. Ms Parkinson said that the only exception is the Sunday market in Lewisham which was set up to cross fund other markets if necessary.
3.5 Councillor Elliott said that in the past there have been difficulties for street traders, particularly in Deptford, gaining access to toilets. He asked if the situation had improved. Ms Parkinson said that she has not received any complaints from Deptford. There were some issues raised in Lewisham nearly two years ago. The public toilet was decommissioned because it was very expensive. There is a toilet scheme which people have been referred to; it is not the best solution but a public toilet is so expensive. Councillor Millbank, who runs the community toilet scheme, said that this scheme has increased access to the number of disabled toilets and baby changing facilities as well as the overall number of toilets. She suggested that leaflets advertising the scheme be distributed amongst stall holders.
RESOLVED that the level of street trading charges proposed in appendix A to the report for the financial year 2019 onwards will take effect from 1 April 2019:
a) For Deptford Markets
b) For Catford Market
c) For Lewisham 6 day market
d) For Lewisham Sunday market
e) For other miscellaneous market sites within the borough
f) For street trading licence fees
g) For administrative charges for registration, licences, proposals to revoke licences on the grounds of charges arrears