Dunstable General Market
Dunstable Town Council to enable a new market of street
Finance and General Purposes Committee Meeting held on Monday 20 November,
Dunstable Town Council members decided to withdraw from the direct management
and provision of Dunstable’s General Market held each Wednesday, Friday and
Saturday from 1 February 2018.
this decision, Dunstable Town Councillors agreed to encourage all existing
regular General Market Traders to apply to Central Bedfordshire Council for a
licence to become a street trader. The
street trading licence will allow existing traders to trade from exactly the
same area and pitch as they trade from now and for all intents and purposes,
visitors to the market will not see any difference to the market as to what
has been experiencing a range of ongoing operational difficulties in providing
services for the Market, mainly due to continuing unsuccessful recruitment
attempts for market staff. A number of market traders have been very vocal in
their criticisms of the Council and had voiced their desire to take more
control of managing the market themselves. Councillors have listened to the traders and believe that by enabling
traders to become street traders, this will empower market traders to have more
control of the market themselves.
In order for
this new arrangement to take place, Dunstable Town Council took the decision
not to exercise their Market Rights as holders of the Market Charter and will
allow this new market of street traders to take place in Dunstable.
traders will be able to trade on whichever days their licence conditions allow
and existing traders will save at least £2,000 per year in rental fees as the
street trading licence only costs £409 per year compared to existing stall
rental fees of at least £2,500 per year.
the Council also agreed to provide a free waste collection service for the
General Market street traders and offer all existing permanent traders a free
pre-used market stall and free storage of the market stall in the Council’s
compound. The Council will also continue
to promote a General Market of street traders on its website and other
currently 9 regular traders on Dunstable’s General Market and the Council is
aware that this new arrangement is not popular with a minority of traders;
however, the Council believes that for the foreseeable future this is the most
effective way of still allowing a general market to take place in Dunstable
without over burdening the local council tax payer as the provision of the
existing general market has been heavily subsidised by the Council over the
past few years.
will be continuing to provide markets in Dunstable and the twice monthly craft
and themed markets will still be provided from April next year and the Council
is very keen to see these types of markets developed over the next few
years. The Council will also continue to
promote the market of street traders and will provide all potential new market
traders with assistance in becoming a street trader.
will not preclude the Town Council from resurrecting a Council managed General
Market in the future if a new trading environment is created by future
alterations to the town centre.
this decision, David Ashlee, the Council’s Town Clerk and Chief Executive,
stated that “he was pleased that the
Council was able to ensure that a new market of street traders would keep a
General Market going in Dunstable and whilst he accepted that this decision
might not be popular with a minority of existing traders, felt the decision was
in the best interests of all Dunstable residents and council tax payers”.
Town Council own the Market Charter for Dunstable which provides them with
rights over providing a market in Dunstable and the right to licence any other
bodies that might want to provide a market in Dunstable. It is up to the Council to decide how it
wishes to exercise its rights.
Details of press contact for further
David Ashlee – Town Clerk and