Have a say in Swindon's town centre market plans
THE public is to be consulted this week over plans to establish a market in Swindon town centre.
InSwindon, the town centre management firm, decided in October to cancel its weekly food market in Havelock Square after the council voted to enforce its ban on street trading there.
Then it called off its popular annual Christmas Market because Canal Walk, like much of the town centre, is a prohibited street.
Now Swindon Council’s licensing committee has launched a consultation on the idea of removing the ban in all or some streets in the town centre, with a condition limiting trading to specific times and dates, or to weekly or themed markets.
Town centre businesses will be asked what they think and and the public will have a chance to voice their opinions at the Central Library from 9am tomorrow and at the Brunel Centre on Friday from 10am to 5pm.
The options are a weekly general market, weekly food market, themed markets, Christmas market, and monthly car boot sale. Potential sites are the old Post Office site off Fleming Way, The Parade, Canal Walk, Havelock Square, outside the Town Hall, Wharf Green, and Fleet Street/Bridge Street.
Coun Emma Faramarzi (Con, Priory Vale), who is heading the market working group, said: “Before I was ever involved with the council, when I was the Federation of Small Businesses chairman, we expressed our disappointment that the ban was implemented. We didn’t think it was good for the town centre.
“The more people that take part in the consultation the better, because really there’s no point in us implementing changes to the prohibitions if only three people tell us what they want.”
South Swindon MP Robert Buckland said: “I welcome the proposed consultation because I think there’s a desire among local residents for more diversity in the town centre and I think a market, sensitively placed, could help deliver that.”
The consultation will run for 21 days from March 7, but comments can be submitted online now.
Coun Faramarzi has set up a Facebook page – Swindon Town Centre Market Consultation, – and comments can be emailed to email@example.com, using the subject heading “Swindon Town Centre Market Consultation”.
Coun Faramarzi hopes the market will be running by June.