Market rent on agenda at Dereham meeting

Dereham's markets will come under the spotlight at a meeting tonight.Rent changes, stall hire and capping certain types of traders are on the agenda of Dereham Town Council's markets and buildings committee.

Dereham's markets came under the spotlight at a meeting this week.

Rent changes, stall hire and capping certain types of traders were all discussed by Dereham Town Council's markets and buildings committee on Tuesday.

Councillors agreed that the farmers' market stall holders should be charged the same rent as traders at the Tuesday and Friday markets.

At the moment the farmers' market traders pay �10 per stall while rent for the Tuesday and Friday market is calculated by the size of the stall, with costs being 80p per foot for permanent traders and �1 per foot for casual traders.

It was agreed that there would be no increase in rent for Tuesday and Friday market stall holders and that from April 1 the farmers' market traders would also pay the same rent per foot as the other markets. The committee also decided that the price traders were charged for electricity would go up from �1 to �2.50 per session.

The committee considered capping certain types of traders on the markets to prevent casual traders jeopardising the income of the permanent traders who are the core of the market.

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It was agreed that if the markets superintendent did not think it would in the best interests of the market for a certain trader to have a stall then this would be referred to the committee.

Councillors also agreed to change the stall hire policy for the farmers market. Currently traders pay an extra �3 per market to use a stall that is put up by town council staff on the day of the market, but it was agreed by the committee that to save on staffing costs the council should loan the traders the stalls to look after and put up themselves. Traders would pay a deposit for the stalls and return them if they stopped trading at Dereham Farmers' Market.

These issues are all due to be rubberstamped at the next full council meeting on March 10.