Posted by Ian Rathbone on Friday, February 17th, 2017
‘WELL STREET – YOUR STREET’ MEETING
WEDNESDAY 15th FEBRUARY 2017. Time: 7pm. Venue: NuDawn, 212 Well St. E9.
Minutes of meeting
24 People in attendance
LET IT BE STATED THAT THIS PUBLIC MEETING WAS EXTREMELY POSITIVE AND PRODUCTIVE WITH IDEAS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
INTRODUCTIONS: Reason for the meeting Traders, Residents and Shopkeepers asking questions about not being invited to the WESTRA AGM, lack of promotion of the market, of local businesses with visible leaflets, the mix of the stalls, the downturn on trade for some businesses, enquiries about use of allocated funding
TOPICS FOR DISCUSSION: The Market and Business Rates,
OVERVIEW OF MARKET: First market day, the launch was successful. January, quiet as expected and the February market saw a continued downturn of visitors.
Residents, stallholders and shopkeepers were given the opportunity to air their views,
- Views were shared about wanting to see a fruit and veg stall as part of the market to cater.
- This was not currently feasible as there were no applications from grocers, plus the fact that running a stall of that type once a month was not sustainable by a commercial trader. But the Council to be asked to pursue this objective.
- Seeing a market for all. Suggestions about seeing the return of Mohammed who ran the budget clothing stall outside the post office. Stalls of this kind were needed to incorporate a diverse market mix. Council to be asked to pursue contact him to see if he would consider returning.
- Jo confirmed that he has now set up trading at another market. There were issues for him pertaining to the fees levied by London Borough of Hackney for the pitch at that time.
- It was generally felt that the market is not catering for the community be it as traders or shoppers and this needs to happen. Suggestions are needed. Examples were provided of established Well Street shop businesses who generally catering for the wider community / a broad church of residents: Well St Butchers, A J Price, Well St Wholefoods, The Hair Lounge, AG Price were named.
- Well St Butchers made it clear although he fought for and supported the creation of the market, that on market days he has seen a significant down turn in Saturday trade as his restaurant customers, and pop in shoppers could not and his vans could not park, pick up and deliver, should this continue there is the likelihood of him laying off local staff, the same was expressed by AG price ie numbers of staff potentially being cut. Other traders shared the effect on their own businesses. the Well Street Fish and Chip has been badly effected apart from the December market day. One of the shopkeepers laid bare the fact that a number of businesses have seen no trade or increase in trade whatsoever on market days.
- To overcome this and make the market a success for all it was agreed that the Stallholders as well as Shopkeepers need to work as a unified team to discuss ideas and aim to make the market a success for all.
- The meeting agreed that the shops are the heart of the community as they are there and committed 30 days a month.
- Comments were made of the fact that the current layout of the stalls in front of the shops obliterates the shop fronts, blocks and excludes the shops.
- The use of Social Media was confirmed as being an important factor for information sharing but it was also acknowledged that there needs to be leaflets produced and distributed to inform the ‘community’ about the market especially as not everyone uses social media. This has not been done to date and issues surrounding this matter have been raised regarding who is responsible for this.
- Market traders raised the fact that many local people out shopping don’t know anything about the new market
- A local resident aired their view on the fact that the market did not cater for all. The OAPs generally felt left out and feared in the long term they will see continued shop closures and more unwanted stalls. Plus thought must be given to those in social housing who were un-catered for also. An example was given of a stall selling a salt beef bagel for £7.00. Questions were raised on how to attract the broader local diverse community.
- It is established the boroughs residential mix has greatly changed. It was agreed that there is a need for a real mixture of stalls to suit all pockets. The fear is if this does not happen there will be friction within the community.
An idea is for there to be at least one AFFORDABLE item on each stall?
- The whole meeting agreed, a new layout of the market included moving the barrier further into Well St to start at Collent St, near to Coral Bookmakers, with the hope of accommodating Wells Butchers, will overcome the issue of the negative impact on their trade. The stalls affected could be relocated outside the vacant shops? Another suggestion is for the stalls to be laid out along the centre of the street, back to back facing the shops? This will aid both stalls and shops being seen.
- The ideas of shops putting out signs such as A frames were dismissed as LBH have already issued warnings of fines to premises that have attempted to do just that. It was then again mentioned the importance of social media and leaflets and the fact that this has not been done by WESTRA. Questions were subsequently raised about the role and responsibilities of the WESTRA market manager and the SPACEHIVE funding.
- It was put forward that the responsibility for the control of the market and the stalls trading should be led by WESTRA with a proposal for a pre approval of the stalls by the organisation then referral to LBH markets team as this is what happens with Chats and Broadway market.
- Newly appointed Chair of WESTRA, Natalia introduced herself to all present.
- People felt that two months of the same performer and no stage was taking away the USP (Unique Selling Point) of the market.
- The meeting agreed the Teen and student makers were a valued part of the market as a whole. One young person agreed that it was important to be trading amongst and alongside the regular experienced traders as they felt isolated and hidden away. As young people there is much to be gained from working alongside more experienced traders.
The meeting agreed the following:
SUGGESTED SOLUTIONS to be recommended to WESTRA for consideration and implementation by the Council:
1. That the road closure to commence from the Coral Bookmakers on the corner of Collent Street.
2. Stalls to be relocated to the centre of the street, facing the shops. Aware this can only happen with a permanent road closure on market days.
3. There must be car parking provision for Well St Butchers (100 years of trading on Well Street) to continue to accommodate their regular customers and vehicles.
4. Well Street promotional leaflets inviting-welcoming local people to shop local and visit the market to be designed bearing info of shops and stalls. A map to be incorporated. The leaflets must be distributed across the community. Stalls and shops to be provided with leaflets for handing out. As a matter of urgency.
4*Also the idea of a promotional map flyer was also suggested for a later leaflet campaign in April or May.
5. Residents, Shopkeepers and Stallholders to work together collectively via WESTRA to make the New Well Street market a real success in partnership with the London borough of Hackney. 6. Newly designed signs stating ‘WELCOME TO WELL STREET MARKET’, located at either end of the market location. 7. The Teen and makers market to be incorporated within the main market will benefit all.
6. Newly designed signs stating ‘WELCOME TO WELL STREET MARKET’, located at either end of the market location.
7. The Teen and makers market to be incorporated within the main market will benefit all.
8. Ask for WESTRA to ask for ideas, planning and sharing meeting with the London Borough of Hackney.
If you’re interested in Well Street market, please go to wellstreet.market where you can find out more about booking a pitch, and what the market is currently about. NEXT MARKET: March 4, 10am to 4pm.