Agenda and draft minutes

Dorchester Markets Informal Joint Panel
Wednesday, 29th January, 2020 2.00 pm

Venue: Committee Room A, South Walks House, South Walks Road, Dorchester, DT1 1UZ (DT1 1EE for sat nav). View directions

Contact: Kate Critchel, Senior Democratic Services Officer 01305 252234  Email: kate.critchel@dorsetcouncil.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

11.

Apologies

To receive any apologies for absence.

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors David Bolwell and Nick Ireland.

12.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 121 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 26 June 2019.

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 26 June 2019 were confirmed and signed.

13.

Declarations of Interest

To receive any declarations of interest.

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest to report.

14.

Public Participation

To receive any public questions or statements on the business of the Dorchester Market Joint Informal Panel.

Minutes:

There was no public participation at the meeting.

15.

Budget/Financial Outturn 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 104 KB

To consider a report by the Executive Director for Corporate Development /S151

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Dorchester Markets budget and financial outturn for 2020/21 was considered by the Panel the detail of which was explained by officers in how this budget was allocated and applied and what income had been generated and expenditure incurred. Appendix 1 to the report set this out in detail.

 

The Panel noted that projected outturn expenditure was £42,087, compared to an approved budget of £41,587, with the projected outturn income being £165,941, compared to an approved budget of £182,374 – this reduction resulting largely to a further projected fall in income from the market operator. The market operator’s accounts to 30 September 2019 showed market rents received for the year to date of £69,795, compared to £81,055 in the previous

Year, with the proposed distribution to the Panel, after expenses, being

£14,000 less then budget.

 

The income from farmer’s markets was also less than budgeted and was explained in the market management report. The income for car boot sales was slightly down too, compared to the same time last year.

 

All this meant that the sum available for distribution was £123,854,compared the budgeted sum of £140,788, with Dorset Council receiving £68,220 compared to a budget of £78,642. Dorchester Town Council would receive £36,734, compared to a budget of £42,346, after setting aside the car boot proceeds into the markets grant reserve.

 

The proposed expenditure budget was £41,926,the proposed income budget being £165,198 on the assumption that the market operator’s contract income was the same as the 2019/20 projected outturn of £48,000, bearing in mind that this had declined steadily over recent years.

 

Overall, this meant that the surplus available for distribution was £123,272:

with Dorset Council due £67,842 and Dorchester Town Council £36,530.

 

The Panel acknowledged how the budget was comprised and the reasons for this and took the opportunity to make their observations known. They understood and accepted what part circumstances had played in the budget position and recognised that officers had manged this as effectively as they could so as to enable the surpluses to be allocated as beneficially as they might.  

 

Resolved

That the annual budget for 2020/21 be approved.

 

Reason for decision

To ensure the governance of the Dorchester Markets finances was applied.

16.

Distribution of Grants from the Dorchester Market Car Boot Fund for the Financial Year 2018-19 pdf icon PDF 89 KB

To consider a report by the Executive Director for Corporate Development/S151.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Panel received an update on the distribution of grants awarded from the Dorchester Car Boot Fund during 2019, together with an illustration of the type of organisations; local projects; initiatives and activities which benefited from the fund, as a result of the income generated by the weekly Sunday Car Boot Sale held at Dorchester Market.

 

The Dorchester Market Car Boot Fund was financed entirely by the income from the car boot sales with applications for it being made between 23 January 2019 and 31 March 2019. Information about how to apply to the fund was accessible locally and on the Dorset for You website. A total

of 45 applications had been received; 8 fewer than the previous year. The

Grant Awarding Panel had met in July 2019 to consider the applications, and assessed them against the necessary criteria and on the merit of each, being allocated on their relevant necessity and benefit. How initiatives were being delivered and the benefits they brought were critical considerations in the way in which the fund was allocated.

 

In total, 31 community and voluntary organisations had been successful, and the total amount awarded was £15,739. Any unsuccessful projects were directed to where they could gain access to alternative funding streams as necessary to see if they might be able to benefit from those. Successful projects also had the opportunity to access these, as necessary, so as to supplement their funding options.

 

Mention was made of the celebration event held the previous autumn for all those successful groups in being able to interact with each other and discuss what benefits their particular projects brought.

 

The Panel were pleased to see how the fund was being used and how beneficial this would be to the viability and success of projects and initiatives in them being able to contribute towards what Dorchester had to offer.

 

Resolved

That the distribution of the Dorchester Market Car Boot Fund for the financial year 2018-19 be endorsed

 

Reason for Decision

So as to ensure the available funding was allocated so as to be as beneficial as it could be to Dorchester.

17.

Market Management Report pdf icon PDF 169 KB

To consider a report by the Estates Manager.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

 

The Panel received the Dorchester Market Management report on what arrangements were in place for it to operate, the basis for this, and how it worked in practice. The report set out the relationship between

Dorset Council, Dorchester Town Council and the operators, Ensors; the details of the Market Agreement by which the operations were governed and; what were the management arrangements that were overseen and monitored by the Panel. How the market was performing; what could be done to improve how it was operated and; what it could achieve were set out in the report along with evidence as to why performance was as it was and the reasons why this was not as it might be.

 

Arrangements for the lease of the site were outlined with Ensors having the rights to hold a weekly market on Wednesdays and a Car Boot Sale on Sundays. Ensors undertook the management of the market and were required to provide periodic financial reports, the latest being set out in the exempt appendix to the officer’s report. Market tolls were set by agreement with the Council.

 

Whilst unfortunately market revenues had been falling for many years owing to the changing pattern of retailing, internet purchasing, and general trends of markets failing to meet the requirements of today’s consumers, its core  business was still seen to provide a valuable, and valued, contribution to the vitality of Dorchester, not least from the numerous visitors it generated - some specifically coming to Dorchester on coach trips for this sole purpose -  with it being agreed that the market remained successful in what it had to offer.

 

To assess how to optimise how the market was run, officers had previously

commissioned for the Panel a report from NABMA in respect of the market operations, a Dorchester Market Survey to assess the public’s view of the market and had presented a discussion paper called a Vision for Dorchester Market. These proposed operational improvements and site maintenance works to support the market. Members considered that this might now prove to be enlightening and that it could be revived to see what part it might play in improving the market’s performance.

 

Ensors Market Operators Report cited poor trading conditions and bad weather throughout the autumn along with the perceived dilapidated condition

of the site had all contributed towards the poor level of performance being seen. However the Panel were informed that the allocated budget had been fully apportioned with reserves being drawn on to address essential repairs to the roofs and gates and security improvements had been made - with a new CCTV system in operation. Sub metering of the electric and water supplies on the site also enabled a more efficient and accurate measurement of power consumption so that any recharging was more accurate to users for the first time. How other maintenance works was being undertaken was explained, with any maintenance underspend being proposed to be allocated to replenish the Maintenance Reserve Fund.

 

 Ensors had reported declining revenues  ...  view the full minutes text for item 17.

18.

Urgent Items

To consider any items of business which the Chairman has had prior notification and considers to be urgent pursuant to section 100B (4) b) of the Local Government Act 1972. The reason for the urgency shall be recorded in the minutes.

Minutes:

There were no urgent items for consideration at the meeting.