Liberal Democrat Councillors are calling for the Labour-led City Council to immediately suspend the current, highly flawed, consultation on the Market Square redevelopment project, until the proposed “demountable stalls” can be viewed and fully tested by traders and shoppers.
Following a number of public questions about the consultation at today’s full Council meeting, Cllr Cheney Payne, Lib Dem Spokes for Climate Change, Environment & City Centre is writing to the Labour Executive Cllr leading this consultation to insist that the project is paused until this can be available to view and test.
In the council meeting earlier today fellow Lib Dem councillor Olaf Hauk challenged Executive Councillor Rosy Moore via an oral question about the absence of trial stalls and the continued disagreement with stall holders about their feasibility.
He followed up: “Doesn’t the Executive Councillor think that it is all a bit late in the day? The feasibility of the demountable stalls is a practical question that needs sorting out between the council and the stallholders before asking the public at large what they think. If demountable stalls can’t be made to work, then many of the questions in the consultation are pointless. No amount of the public support for the vision will make unworkable stalls workable. Can’t the Executive Councillor see that to proceed further on her current course will generate more enmity than co-operation, and that it would be much better to suspend the current public consultation and get down to serious business with the stallholders directly, to win their trust and work out between you what can work? Then consult the public about the vision."
Copy of open letter from Cllr Payne to Cllr Rosy Moore
Dear Cllr Moore,
Urgent call for suspension of Market Square Consultation
I am writing to request that you suspend the current consultation on the Market Square redevelopment, with immediate effect.
The recent knee jerk closure of the market and subsequent lack of involvement of the traders in the redevelopment project has done great damage to the trust between the Council and the traders, who are the life force of our historic market square.
Now that the consultation on the redevelopment plans has opened, I am gravely concerned to learn that the Council’s promised model dismountable stall will not be available for traders or customers of the market to view until the consultation has closed.
The stalls are a critical part of the redevelopment plans, in order to guarantee a safe and comfortable shopping experience, whilst allowing residents to benefit from the open space available for evening events.
For the traders, the stalls are their place of work and must be respected as such.
It is critical that residents and traders be able to view and test these stalls as part of the consultation process, to judge them to be fit for purpose.
I therefore formally request that you suspend the consultation with immediate effect, until such time as a model stall is available.
Cllr Cheney Payne
Lib Dem Spokes for Climate Change, Environment & City Centre