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Update on Market Place works
12:30pm Wednesday 6th March 2013 in Postbag
IN response to the articles and letters last week I wanted to provide some information to the public about the way that works to the Market Place will be carried out.
The businesses adjacent to the square will be visited by the contractor this week to discuss their requirements.
The Salisbury Market Place improvement project will start on March 11, 2013 with a series of investigative trial holes. The construction will be in three phases. The first phase will start (on March 25) in The Guildhall Square for seven weeks. During this period disabled parking will be moved to the Market Place and general parking will be allowed to continue.
The market will continue to trade as normal on Tuesdays and Saturdays during this first phase.
Meetings have been held with Salisbury City Council and the market traders’ liaison panel and there are ongoing discussions in relation to the reorganisation of their stalls during phases 2 and 3.
The revised market stall locations will be advertised on the site noticeboards to help customers locate stalls.
The contractor will be assisting where possible to ensure that local businesses are not disrupted and can continue to trade as normally as possible. Work outside shops will mainly be outside of opening hours and seating areas reopened as soon as possible.
We have not been able to share the specifics of this information until now as we had to wait until the Traffic Regulation Order was signed off at the end of last week, without that the actual detail could not be finalised.
I understand the concerns of both market traders and retailers/restaurants bordering the square. There is no ‘good’ time to carry out works to the Market Place, there is only a least bad time. We are starting the work as early in the year as we can.
Initially the area board had asked for the works to start in January but that was not viable due to the weather. We started the work on New Canal in February and that work needed to start before the Market Place to ensure that we maintained disabled parking places in the city centre.
Talking to market traders, their main concerns are about how the location of stalls will change and more generally about how the market will look in the future. At the moment traders like the slightly jumbled feel to the market and are concerned that a linear market will lose its character.
These are questions which the city council will address as they run the market.
RICHARD CLEWER, Wiltshire Councillor, St Paul'sWard Salisbury Chairman, Salisbury Area Board
ALONG with many members of the public I raised concerns about the proposed granite blocks for the Market Place at the special area board meeting last August and asked that no contract be awarded until the proposed blocks had been viewed by the board. A tiny sample was made available for viewing on February 5 and a full size block on February 14.
Why has it taken over six months to produce a sample block? The excuses for using Chinese-made slabs and about British granite mines are lame. If granite is a problem then chose a suitable alternative material from the Mendip Hills, Devon or Cornwall.
As an employer and owner of a small building company, I do my utmost to buy British products and now Wiltshire Council wants to import these granite paving blocks. It is 5,721 miles away from Wiltshire Council’s “shop local” strapline.
Wiltshire Council is to spend more than £3million of public money on these works and I feel strongly that the public should have a real say on how the money is spent. I urge the council to go the extra mile to support British industry. I will continue to support British products and jobs whatever political comments are thrown.
CLLR RICKY ROGERS, Bemerton Ward