Posted by Ian Rathbone on Wednesday, March 23rd, 2016
WESTRA has produced a business charter in line with a request from Hackney Council. It serves as guide for the market itself, and hopefully will encourage other local businesses to draw up their own charter of who they are and what they do.
Well Street Traders and Residents Association (WESTRA) is a not for profit organisation run by volunteers, launched in 2010.
Our Mission Statement is to renew the historic 150 year old market and for it to serve the whole of the local community.
We support local businesses and work together to solve any problems that may arise on the market street.
Communicating with the local community
We maintain a clear and constant line of communication with our community, residents and traders and aim to strengthen our local community by engaging with local residents and traders’ issues, and respond to their needs and work with community organisations that benefit the social, educational and health welfare of our community.
We promote relevant activities or groups that share our aims.
Local young people
We want to support the local youth in our community by operating a ‘Teenage market’ and providing young entrepreneurs with training, providing opportunities and having presence in the local community, teaching economic survival skills and provide a successful transition from school to work by learning valuable skills which help to build confidence.
We would like to build on our connections in our local community with Hackney Quest and provide a permanent teenage market stall for young people from their project along with reaching out to the Tenants and Residents Associations on Frampton Park, Trelawney, Morningside, Wyke and Gascoigne Estates to help nurture talent.
We want to encourage local student makers to be given a platform to trial their creativity and help progress of young people into the creative industries by encouraging their innovation and talent.
We want to provide a platform to local musicians to develop their talent and are looking to encourage a mentoring system with local well established artists with the aim of developing our local talent, offering a platform for them to practice performing in front of a live audience, and having a mentoring scheme with high profile acts like Rudimental, Plan b and Labrinth to inspire, encourage and nurture young talent.
Robust and creative communities
We aim to develop robust and creative communities by increasing confidence, ambition and cultural capacity. We want to promote enterprise and entrepreneurial activity and a ‘can do’ approach to improving yourself, the community and economy.
We want to nurture and promote local talent and work together to resolve economic, spatial and social problems faced in our area.
Working with local schools
We want to continue developing the linking work of the last four years with local primary schools, helping pupils to be aware of the market, its businesses and how they work.
We want to forge links within the European Union with other markets and market traders and make connections and provide learning opportunities and develop a market exchange programme. We are looking at beginning with linking with a market in Bavaria, Germany, begun by former Hackney residents who are keen to create a designer/maker network already piloted by Hackney based designer Ella Doran. We are also interested in forging links with Hackney’s twinned cities of Oslo and Austin, Texas and to develop a markets exchange programme with them.
Working with other local markets
We want to develop the links we already have with other Hackney markets, particularly with Victoria Park Traders Association, and continue to play an active part in the Council’s Streets Advisory Board, seeking improvement and expansion of all markets in Hackney.
We want to work together with the Fashion Hub and promote local fashion designers and support their work by providing a sponsored stall that showcases local talent and create links between us and the Fashion Hub.
WESTRA will oversee what mix of stalls and rate each trader to see if their mix fit’s with our community remit. We will decide where each stall is placed on the street and ensure high quality produce, locally grown where possible thus providing our community with a range of products that reflect their wants and needs.
We want to employ local talent from Hackney and provide equal opportunities and adhere to the principles of fair work and fair pay and pay at least the London Living Wage, and to encourage such for all the businesses in the market area.
We want to behave in a responsible way to our environment and recycle as many materials as we can, particularly with cardboard and organic waste, and to encourage re-use. We will join in partnership with Greener Hackney and other local recycling organisations.
Well Street Area Neighbourhood Plan
We want to continue to develop the Plan, through to publication, which WESTRA initiated and supported in various ways, including funding for consultation. This includes supporting those on the Forum carrying through the development work.
Health and well-being
We are committed to improving well-being and share the aspirations of Healthier Hackney. By focussing on and encouraging healthy eating and healthy food products, to celebrate the amazing diversity of the local community and its cultural offer, all of which are reflected in the businesses of the market street, shop and stall.