SALISBURY City Council has announced plans to invest £120,000 in the city’s markets but one councillor and market trader says not enough is being done to help the charter market.
The council’s services committee heard on Monday night that money has been set aside in the budget to refurbish and improve the markets over the next three years, starting with £30,000 in the 2014/15 budge.
The money will go to replace gazebos for the farmers market and some new markets the council is hoping to organise in the newly refurbished Market Place, such as teenage, vintage and artisan markets. The council also wants to replace and buy additional tables for these markets and update some emergency equipment needed, such as oil spill absorption kits and a loud hailer.
It would also spend money on marketing both the charter and farmers market as well as all the new markets.
But Councillor Ian Tomes, who runs a pet stall on the charter market, said the council’s plans don’t do enough to help the main charter market.
“I have no problem with the farmers market but I do think the measures are pretty limited in terms of what Salisbury market has gone through. We’ve had probably the worst period ever, so many traders have left the market and it’s not all down to the refurbishment. We’ve had the most rain ever, we’ve lost our vans and national trends show there is a severe decline in the markets.
“Salisbury market is in a serious state of decline. It’s been a very good market for a very long time – it makes a third of a million profit each year – but we need to sort it out and manage it properly. A few extra posts and a few fliers are not going to solve the problems; we need to get the buzz back.”
But other councillors said there is a waiting list of traders who want to join the market and Cllr Matthew Dean said to the general public the market looks much smarter now in the newly refurbished square and without vehicles there.
The committee voted to approve the plans and continue to monitor what improvements are needed.