Wrexham Council- The Landlords From Hell.

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  • #182148

    jimbow
    Participant

    The Report on the Butcher’s and General Markets going before the Executive Board next Tuesday asking for the go ahead to invest around £2 million on them, borders on throwing good money down the drain.
    Despite the Report reporting an operating surplus for the two markets, this is in fact untrue. The Butcher’s Market showed a loss in 2018/19 of £10,350 whilst the General Market loss for the same period was £18,870. To cover over the true trading position, a surplus from the 9 town centre shops and outside market of £55,993 was credited to the two indoor markets resulting in a surplus of £26,773.
    Some of the long standing stallholders are on Periodic Agreements. In order to facilitate re development these would have to be terminated.
    The report outlines that the Butcher’s Market would have to be closed for possibly 6 months or more.
    It takes years to become established and only a few weeks to become unestablished. Closing this market for any period of time in my opinion will kill it.
    Wrexham Council by all means give it a make over but £2 million and stallholders having to relocate. Please think again.

    #182262
    Alunh
    Alunh
    Participant

    I’m a bit uncomfortable about commenting on a post that seems to judge WCBC as a landlord…….but I do think that this particular issue needs to be fully discussed in public.

    There appears to be money available to redevelop the Markets…..which is good……yet I note that that the train is already on the tracks concerning the development. That seems strange. In particular, what I haven’t noticed is any explanation of what the Council are trying to do with the various Indoor and Outdoor Markets that we possess, and how the money that is about to be deployed might be used most effectively to enhance these facilities and benefit the town accordingly.

    WCBC has had a considerable amount to do with the Manchester Metropolitan University over the last decade and this University has done some sterling work on the Market and Retail sector. Their various pieces of work all seem to indicate that towns like Wrexham really do prosper if they ensure that they possess excellent Markets and that, in turn, such Markets (and the Independent sector) are pressed forward as part of any marketing strategy.

    Unfortunately, whilst money has been occasionally been thrown at the Markets, they have never had the type of root and branch rejigs that will make them fit for purpose. Living evidence of this can be seen with Ty Pawb with its many excellent bits but lack of coherent whole. Generally the main theme of academic work has been to make the Market offer coherent, logical, varied, exciting and, most of all, accessible. The naked eye does not lie where our Markets are concerned. It is an incoherent mish-mash with its topography all over the place.

    The money sounds great…..but so too would an attempt to explain the template being followed

    • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 4 days ago by AlunhAlunh.
    • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 4 days ago by AlunhAlunh.
    #182300

    jimbow
    Participant

    Rubber stamped, onwards and upwards by the Executive Board. There is nothing wrong with a vision for the future but in this case, where are the future stallholders coming from?
    Cllr Hugh Jones made comment don’t forget Ty Pawb which is his baby. Reading between the lines I got the impression that he was concerned that the Butcher’s Market could take over the food section of Ty Pawb. If food is the vision, would there be enough footfall for both markets as food outlets? The detail will come back to the Executive in the future. Let us hope that whatever is spent is used wisely.

    #182363

    Matt
    Participant

    I just read the article posted up this morning:

    Hopes that Wrexham’s markets can “follow in footsteps” of popular venues in Chester and Shrewsbury

    It sounds like Clr Hemmings went on a jolly to Chester and Shrewsbury markets. The daft thing is, they think they can replicate the success of these markets based in cities/towns that have a much better footfall and overall current prosperity outlook than Wrexham does.

    “People were eating meals, shopping, reading books and you could even buy a gin and tonic there which I thought was quite good.”

    The above quote is amusing as he has basically just described Ty Pawb in Wrexham, which is already struggling in itself to gain mainstream traction of customers on a regular basic.

    So their plan with the Butcher’s Market is to do the same thing they did to the People’s Market – throw money at it, shut it down for ages, alienate the existing traders and eliminate even the existing customerbase that has been going to the market for years.

    Jimbow is bang on with his fears about what will happen.

    #182367
    Alunh
    Alunh
    Participant

    I’m not going to pre-judge the ambition or the vision

    BUT

    You cannot just pluck a template out of the air without looking at all of the factors on the table that have shaped one town’s successful Market…………..and then compare the factors in play that you have yourself……and assess viability.

    To give you an example. FOOD

    I’ve seen various kinds of Food offers in various types of Market. Food is a Market pull. You will get the Food on Sale variety, the Food to eat variety, the Food to eat as part of the nightlife variety, etc. Once you say, for example, that Market A does Food selling and does well, it may well be the case that Market A is located next to a spacious Car Park or adjacent to a Bus Station. I mention this because in Truro the Market backs on to the Bus Station. In Wrexham, the Butcher’s Market is located away from a Car Park and a fair distance away from the Bus Station. Would a Wrexham template based upon Food Retail work with the town as presently configured in terms of Access?

    Once you appreciate that the answer to the above is not necessarily Yes, that leads you onto the next question. Can we achieve an outcome by tweaking an Access factor. Could the High Street (for example) provide any kind of solution? Could Market Street Car Park be Short Stay free?

    Unless whoever is projecting forward is shrewd where Retail is concerned, they will pour cash into an Abyss. Already many traders are concerned that they will be left dangling and perhaps squeezed out of the equation. Please convene some sort of meeting of people who understand the fine nuances in these sorts of developments and thrash out the fine detail

    #182382

    jimbow
    Participant

    The Deputy Chair of the Executive Board along with the Chair (The Leader of Wrexham Council ) reported to the meeting their visit to Chester Market as impressive. Chester and Wrexham are as different as chalk and cheese. Wrexham will never attain the visitor figures of Chester.
    The admittance by these two using this as a comparison, just goes to show how out of touch these two are.

    #182396
    Alunh
    Alunh
    Participant

    Comparing towns is a problematic game but so too is comparing comparable towns. You have to factor in the nature of the infra-structure, the nature of the competition, the cultural variables in play, and so on. Oddly enough, WCBC did go to one group of “experts” Quarterbridge, but even there, many of the snippets of their report that emerged suggested an organisation that had a patchy understanding of the specifics of Wrexham.

    Constructing the best Market structure in Wales should be the ambition of our Council, but if they (lazily) adopt wholesale a template from a successful town somewhere else (with differing factors in play), it might all be a waste.

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