Agenda and minutes

MS Teams Virtual meeting with Outside Broadcasting, Dorchester Markets Informal Joint Panel - Wednesday, 30th June, 2021 2.00 pm

Venue: MS Teams Virtual meeting with Outside Broadcasting

Contact: David Northover, Democratic Services Officer  Email:


No. Item


Election of Chairman

To elect a Chairman for the remainder of the year 2021/22.



That Dorchester Town Councillor Mollie Rennie be elected Chairman for the 2021/22 financial year.


The Chairman took the opportunity to thank Councillors Chisholm and Potter for their valued contribution to the Panel over the years and welcomed Councillors Stella Jones and Frances Hogwood to the Panel from Dorchester Town Council.


Appointment of Vice-Chairman

To appoint a Vice-Chairman for the remainder of the year 2021/22.



That Coucnillor Jill Haynes be appointed Vice-Chairman for the ensuing year 2021/22.



To receive any apologies for absence.


Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Janet Hewitt (Dorchester Town Council) and John Worth (Dorset Council).


Minutes pdf icon PDF 125 KB

To receive and note the minutes of the meeting held on 27 January 2021.


That the minutes of the meeting held on 27 January 2021 were noted with a correction being made to minute 21 - Appointments to Car Boot Fund Panel – to delete reference to the Mayor/Deputy Mayor.


Declarations of Interest

To disclose any pecuniary, other registerable or personal interest as set out in the adopted Code of Conduct. In making their disclosure councillors are asked to state the agenda item, the nature of the interest and any action they propose to take as part of their declaration.


If required, further advice should be sought from the Monitoring Officer in advance of the meeting.




There were no declarations of interest at the meeting.


Public Participation pdf icon PDF 119 KB

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


There was no public participation at the meeting.


Financial Outturn Report 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 102 KB

To consider the market’s financial outturn for 2020/21.

Additional documents:


The Panel received the financial outturn report for 2020/21 and considered what it entailed and were being asked to approve the income and expenditure statement for 2020/21.


The total income accounted for during 2020/21 was £87,303 against a budget of £165,198, leaving a significant income deficit of £77,895. The main underlying reason for this shortfall was the effect of the Covid-19 pandemic, and in particular the effects of the numerous lockdowns & restrictions imposed during 2020/21.


Officers took the Panel through the report explaining that, at present, there was a significant debt outstanding relating to Cornhill Market. Preliminary discussions with the operators had identified that the operator was unable to operate the market for significant parts of 2020/21 and that much of this debt would therefore not be recoverable.


The operator had also highlighted that there was significant risk that they would not be able to make payments during 2021/22 due to the impact of the pandemic on local retail and footfall. Accordingly, a recommendation was included that a reduced fee be negotiated with the operator and it would be prudent to assume no further income from this source until negotiations have been concluded.


Given the circumstances the Panel were ‘minded to’ agree with the principle of this recommendation.



1)That the Head of Community and Public Protection (Dorset Council), in consultation with the Town Clerk (Dorchester Town Council) and with support from the Property and Finance Divisions of Dorset Council, be authorised to agree a reduced fee for the years 2020/21 and 2021/22 with the operators of the Cornhill Market.

2)That the panel approve the income and expenditure statement for 2020/21.

3) That the Head of Community and Public Protection (Dorset Council), in consultation with the Town Clerk (Dorchester Town Council) and with support from the Property and Finance Divisions of Dorset Council enact the Panel’s ‘minded to’ decision.


Reason for Decision

To enable Members of the Panel to consider and approve the Accounts for the year ending 31st March 2021.


Market Operations

An opportunity to consider and discuss an update on Market Operations and what this entails.


The Panel took the opportunity to consider Market operations, what these were, how these should be delivered and what could be done to make the most of this asset so as to ensure the markets in Dorchester would be viable and a successful attraction. They were pleased to hear from Grant Jones – on behalf of the Cornhill market traders – about what was happening in Cornhill; how things were being done there and what his experiences – and those of other traders - were.


Given the limitations in being able to run the market as had been done prior to

the pandemic, trade - in terms of sales, browsing and passing trade – had all

been curtailed significantly over the recent months. Whilst this was generally

understandable, every effort had continued to be made to ensure what trade

possible was maintained, with social distancing rules being applied. Despite

the hardships experienced, there was still a keen appetite for pitches when

these became available. Mr Jones had met with officers to see how best the Cornhill market could be run, what might be offered and where best this might be situated.


Options for how this market – and Dorchester markets generally – could

remain vibrant and viable going forward were considered and where any

expansion might be able to be accommodated and how this might be done.


The Panel saw this as welcomed news and, in recognising how popular the

Cornhill market was, were pleased to see that there had been some resurgence in trade and interest now a degree of normality had returned. They acknowledged there was a loyal and dedicated patronage of the stalls and saw no reason why his shouldn’t continue to thrive into the future. The Panel thanked Mr Jones for his valued contribution and continuing positive approach.


The Panel considered what options there were for the future of Dorchester

markets - in terms of trading activities; locations; popularity and footfall;

access; legal and contractual commitments and obligations; and cultural and

social community considerations - with a presentation from the Town Clerk

facilitating this discussion and the panels understanding.


The fundamentals of the market – its purpose, its heritage and its legacy –

and what it had to offer to the town in terms of economic, social and civic

benefits together with how it had been managed, how it was being managed

and what visions there were for its future, were all considerations.


As a market town, of the County Town, it was something of which to be rightly

proud and was considered an asset in providing an opportunity for traders, a

boost for the local economy and was a business seedbed. The Panel

understood they all played their part in attracting footfall locally and from

visitors afar and acted as a means of social service - providing value for

money goods that were not necessarily able to be sourced by other means. It

was community focused, vibrant and stimulated local contact, being adaptable

in reflecting  ...  view the full minutes text for item 33.