Councillors debate Ringwood markets

AN extra monthly market is being proposed for Ringwood.

New town clerk Steve Nash made the suggestion to town councillors, who had mixed reactions to the plan.

Cllr Michael Thierry said the Town Charter limits the number and location of fairs and perhaps the town council could consider trying to buy the rights of the market and follow Christ-church and New Milton, where the town councils own the market charter.

Cllr Barbara Woodifield said the Chamber of Trade and Commerce had held two markets a year, at summer and Christmas. She said Hampshire Famers’ Markets has confused the issue and is viewed by shop holders as taking potential revenue.

Cllr Angela Wiseman said the Wednesday market could do with some improvements.

Mr Nash said he understood that the charter’s powers had diminished since the 1984 Food Act and that, as a market town, Ringwood could hold its own market.

Cllr Thierry said he was not in favour of monthly markets at all but suggested that a market could be attached to other events.

Cllr Woodifield offered a compromise of three or four markets a year, rather than monthly.

Mr Nash highlighted the income potential of running a market and that approval was being sought from the district council for a possible event at the end of July, providing it did not upset the owner of the charter.

The news comes after the council was approached by a French market which has had dates cancelled at another venue and would like to come to Ringwood on July 25-27.

The market has been in Ringwood before, years ago and has offered £1,200 for the three days.

After licences and road closures have been paid for, the council would make £1,097, which Mr Nash recommends putting towards Christmas lights.

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