Reduced fees for market stall holders across Redbridge – another Wanstead Society success

On the 19th of  July, Wanstead & Woodford Guardian reported that, following a consultation process, Redbridge Council were planning to increase fees for all market stalls in the borough from £15 per stall per day to £28 – a huge increase of almost 87%! The paper also reported that, as a result, the South Woodford market had decided to cease trading as they couldn’t absorb the increase, clearly the Wanstead markets would  also be under threat.

We felt that this was a very short-sighted decision, given the current economic situation, the threat already presented by the Westfield shopping centre, and the recent dismal weather can only have had a negative impact for local traders.

The Wanstead Society wrote to the council asking for an explanation of the massive increase and also canvassed the Wanstead Business Partnership to find out if they had been part of the consultation process. The first that they had heard of this action was the article in the Guardian. We also asked who had been included in the consultation process and what were they asked?

We received a reply from the Cabinet member for Community Safety, Planning and Enforcement, Cllr Shoaib Patel on the 24th of July, which included the following excerpt from their latest press release:

“We have recently received some feedback from businesses in different parts of the borough in relation to the increase in fees for market stalls. I would like to re-emphasise that I have always listened to businesses in the past and tried to take on board their concerns where possible.

I have again listened to what traders have to say, recognising that these are still particularly difficult economic times especially for small businesses.

I am always keen to see businesses thrive throughout Redbridge and on this occasion have therefore, in response to representations, decided to suspend any increase in fees until further notice. They will remain at the same level as last year for the foreseeable future – £15 per stall per day.

I would like to take this timely opportunity to remind businesses that the Council has waived the fees for tables and chairs on the pavement during the Olympic and Paralympic period – a decision made to help encourage extra trade for businesses in Redbridge.”

We are delighted with this outcome, it just goes to show how we can use our community voice to positive effect in our own little corner of the world, and also across our borough!

1 thought on “Reduced fees for market stall holders across Redbridge – another Wanstead Society success”

  1. I think there is some confusion out there as to the quliatative outcomes of these tools. As with everything, it’s not so much what it does but how it’s used. There is I feel a critical difference between a budget simulator, which I would argue is an educational/informational tool allowing users to understand the nature of cuts, and how robbing peter will most definitely impact upon paul (to use a slightly dodgy analogy), and true participatory budgeting, which as the PB Unit (participatorybudgeting.org.uk) will tell you can only be effectively done through decent deliberation, most likely face-to-face. I would think that Redbridge’s new offering, building upon it’s previous incarnation most likely falls into the education/informtion end of this spectrum, which in itself is not a bad thing, just needs to be made clear that this is the intended outcome.The history and effectiveness of online simulators is a mixed bag. Most processes seem to have engaged a decent amount of people to participate, but it’s results haven’t on the face of it led to any demonstrable change in policy or budgetary decision-making. It may have done, but that process has rarely been reported back to the user.I would most likely agree with previous poster about council’s intentions with these things, however, it might well be argued that any form of participation/interaction with these particularly vexing questions is better than nothing.

    Reply

Leave a comment