Agenda and minutes

Dorchester Markets Informal Joint Panel - Wednesday, 25th January, 2023 2.30 pm

Venue: Dorchester Town Council Chamber, Corn Exchange, Dorchester

Contact: Josh Kennedy  Email:

No. Item



To receive any apologies for absence.


Apologies of absence were received from Cllrs Bolwell, Gibson, Hosford, Lyall, Penfold, Somper and Worth.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 293 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 3 August 2022.


The Head of Community and Public Protection assured the Panel that the Daryl Chambers report would be circulated to members after the meeting.


The minutes of the last meeting held on 3 August 2022 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.


Declarations of Interest

To disclose any pecuniary, other registrable or personal interest as set out in the adopted Code of Conduct.  In making their decision 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 to report.


Public Participation

Representatives of town or parish councils and members of the public who live, work, or represent an organisation within the Dorset Council area are welcome to submit up to two questions or two statements for each meeting.  Alternatively, you could submit one question and one statement for each meeting.


All submissions must be emailed in full to by 8.30am on Friday, 20 January 2023.


When submitting your question(s) and/or statement(s) please note that:


·       No more than three minutes will be allowed for any one question or statement to be asked/read.

·       A question may include a short pre-amble to set the context and this will be included within the three-minute period.

·       Please note that sub divided questions count towards your total of two.

·       When submitting a question please indicate who the question is for (e.g. the name of the committee or Portfolio Holder).

·       Include your name, address and contact details.  Only your name will be published but we may need your other details to contact you about your question or statement in advance of the meeting.

·       Questions and statements received in line with the council’s rules for public participation will be published as a supplement to the agenda.

·       All questions, statements and responses will be published in full within the minutes of the meeting. 


Dorset Council Constitution Procedure Rule 9



There was no public participation.


Improving Fairfield Road Travel Safety

The Principle Transport Planner to report.


The Principal Transport Planner delivered a report on the proposed works for improving the road safety of Fairfield Road.


Members were informed that Fairfield Road formed the signed pedestrian route between the railway stations, and was an important pedestrian link in the town, but no footways exist. This made it unfit for current use. The need for a safer road had arisen after a series of incidents along the road, including three pedestrian injuries, - two of them serious - in the last 5 years. This was due to the poor layout of the road and junction, with all three injuries a result of vehicles turning out of Fairfield Road. As a result, Dorset Council’s Highways had recently received funding from central Government’s Active Travel Fund to help improve conditions for road and travel safety.


The Principal Transport Planner informed the committee of several possible options that were being considered to improve the safety of the road.


·       The creation of a footpath next to the road.

·       The potential addition of ‘Keep Clear’ markings at the Maumbury Road/Fairfield Road junction, to make it easier to turn at busy times.

·       The pedestrianisation of the area, through the use of park benches, planters and cycle parking.

·       The installation of removable bollards to control access to the road.

It was hoped that the timescale for completion of the intended works would be before the school summer holidays, however if this was not possible then works would be delayed until later in the year, to minimise disruption to the area.


In response to a question regarding the new route that drivers would have to take, the Principal Transport Planner explained that initially there would likely be some confusion for drivers, who were used to using Fairfield Road, however there was significant public interest in the scheme as it would benefit pedestrians and the additional traffic diverted onto Upper Fairfield Road would be negligible.


Members were supportive of the scheme and recognised the need for an improvement in the safety of the area, in particular they supported the additional amenities of benches and planters, as this would make the area more attractive for pedestrians and improve the shopper experience for market users.


The Panel unanimously supported the proposal of this work as a benefit to public safety and for the purpose of the improvement of the market. Members looked forward to the launching of the public consultation process.

A copy of the proposal would be made available to members after the meeting.


Market Activities and Progress

To receive an update on Dorchester Market activities and any progress being made.


The Head of Community and Public Protection delivered a report, providing an update on the market activities and progress to date.


Following a site visit on 23 November 2022, issues with infrastructure on the site had been noted and the market operator had been made aware of the unauthorised storage on site.


Members acknowledged that the current market lease would end in 2026 and progress now needed to be made in respect of the procurement process and tender for the next market operator.


The Head of Community and Public Protection also informed the Panel of research being undertaken to look into other companies, who ran markets nationally, and offered members the possibility of presentations on how they operated markets. It was agreed that a task & finish group would be established, proportional to the Panel’s membership, to start procurement preparations. The Town Clerk and the Head of Community and Public Protection would prepare a set of terms of reference for the group.


The Conservation Officer and Area Planning Lead Officer had recently been contacted by the Panel’s Lawyer and they had both expressed an interest in working on restoring the Linney’s and improving the market site in general.


Members also received an update on the Cornhill market site, noting that a meeting had been arranged with the market co-ordinator to discuss the recent fall in business levels and how the councils could support the co-ordinator going forward.


Proposed by Cllr Kent-Ledger and seconded by Cllr Jones.


Decision: That a task & finish group be established to progress the procurement of a new market operator, with the membership of the group to be determined by the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Panel.



Financial Out-turn Projection 2022/23 & Proposed Budget 2023/24 pdf icon PDF 199 KB

To consider a report from the Senior Account for Place.

Additional documents:


The Senior Accountant for Place delivered a report on the financial out-turn projection for 2022/23. He noted that in regard to expenditure, there was only a slight overspend compared to the expected figures, this was largely due to an increase in general utility costs.


In terms of income, the forecasted projections were lower than anticipated, however only the accounts for the first quarter had been received to date, so the rest of the year’s accounts had been extrapolated from the data available. While the Cornhill accounts were showing a forecasted deficit of approximately £13,000, this was largely due to an agreed rental reduction with the operator. Other income sources, including from the café and car parking, were set to be as expected.


The Senior Accountant for Place also delivered a report on the proposed budget for 2023/24, noting a slight increase in the budget’s expenditures compared to 2022/23, due to following Dorset Council’s recommended action to freeze all budget lines other than utilities. In terms of income, there was also a slight increase, due to following Dorset Council’s recommended 5% uplift on fees and charges. While there was a healthy repairs and maintenance reserve available.


Proposed by Cllr Kent-Ledger and seconded by Cllr Ireland.


Decision: That the current projected outturn position for 2022/23 be noted and the 2023/24 budget proposal be approved.


Post meeting note: The 2023/24 income budget in relation to the Cornhill Market was amended (The Head of Community and Public Protection confirmed that the reduced rent had been agreed and covered a period of 2 financial years). The amended budget setting document was attached as an appendix to these minutes.



Car Boot Sale Fund

The Dorchester Town Council Clerk to report.


The Dorchester Town Clerk delivered an update on the car boot sale fund, noting that there were 21 successful applicants to the fund and a total of £23,250 had been awarded in grants. Members were also informed that there was an 83% success rate out of the organisations, who applied for a grant.


In response to a concern raised by a member, the Dorchester Town Clerk assured the Panel that the reason for the rejected applications was largely due to those organisations being located outside of the funding area or not being an eligible charity, rather than for failing to complete the paperwork correctly.


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.


There were no urgent items.


Exempt Business

To move the exclusion of the press and the public for the following item in view of the likely disclosure of exempt information within the meaning of paragraph 3 of schedule 12 A to the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended).

There are no scheduled exempt items to report.


There was no exempt business.

2023/24 Budget Setting Document pdf icon PDF 134 KB