The death of Romford's Sunday market is as good as confirmed, as the Labour and RA administration have confirmed its cut in their latest budget proposals. Despite our campaign against the cut.
The saving made is a pittance vs what they have decided to spend on other areas. It is clear that our market is not a priority.
I've lost hope that this administration will do what is needed to turn the market round as a whole. So, I've laid out my plan below.
Please note my terrible Microsoft Paint skills!
Before my plan, where's the money coming from?
Simple, the Community Infrastructure Levy. Aka CIL.
CIL money is paid by developers, to Havering, when they build in Romford. It's designed to be used for local infrastructure. Havering has a pot of around £5m of this and £10m more confirmed as on the way. That's a lot of money.
£1.5m of that money is set aside to fill in the roundabout at North Street.
We are allowed to use this on the market, others have. I recently asked the Council to look at using it for signage to the market, which they agreed.
Why the cut?
There are two reasons that Havering want to cut back on the market.
It costs them a small amount each year. They want to save that.
They are eyeing up the market for parking.
We're told that you can't have both the market and parking at the same time.
What uncreative thinking!
First, a series of attractive bollards are placed through the centre of the square in two rows. This divides the market into 3.
The South Street end (lower)
A slim middle opposite the road in (centre)
The Clock House end (upper).
These areas can be closed off individually.
This allows parking in the top, whilst maintaining a market operating outside the church.
The market could even grow down South Street, making it more visible and mixing it in with our high-street offering. This is successful in many other towns.
If the market needs the full square, then not a problem, open both gates and you have a car free square. A gate could swing to close off the entrance to the market. Safely.
When using the market square for events, the top could be locked off and parking allowed outside the church.
Revenue from parking + a market + a safer events area.
This isn't rocket science! It just needs someone to care about saving the market.
Let's invest into our market and make it fit for the future by creating a safe, multi-purpose, market square that can grow and shrink with the market's needs