The Superintendents to be heard.
The Committee heard oral updates from the Markets Superintendents on the matters set out below:-
National Association of British Market Authorities (NABMA) Conference
The Superintendent attended the annual NABMA conference on 11th -12th October 2021. The conference recognised and celebrated the role Markets in supporting communities, employment and the wider public realm by adapting and remaining open throughout the pandemic to supply quality affordable food.
Car Park LED lighting
A Gateway 2 report would be presented to the Projects Board and Corporate Asset and Projects Sub Committees during November in respect of the installation of LED lighting in the car park with an estimated completion date of November 2022. The project would be funded from the CWP budget and would generate annual savings of £18k.
Trade was close to pre-pandemic levels although there were still noticeable fluctuations in returning to a consistent flow of trade across the week or year compared to pre-covid times. If food shortages continued, the market would be busier. Covid mitigation controls would be adapted to meet any change in Government guidance.
Christmas traffic management plan meetings were taking place involving Traders and Officers. The loading bay suspensions would have a major impact on the market and mitigation measures were being considered to manage traffic flow to the Market and surrounding roads network in the lead up week to Christmas.
Planned Animal Rights Protest
Another protest was planned for 5th November from about midday. This would be the second protest at the market this year and Officers were working closely with Traders and emergency plans would be invoked as necessary.
Following the Committee’s approval of various
elements of the Billingsgate Action Plan at the previous meeting,
the London Fish Merchants Association (LFMA) would meet during
November to appoint a new Chairman and fill other positions on
2. Tenants met with the Remembrancer earlier in the day to discuss the process for submission of a Private Bill and the outcome of discussions would eb reported under agenda item 16.
A meeting to consider a trial of outbound deliveries
over the Christmas period had been postponed due to driver
shortages and would now be reconsidered in 2022.
4. At the recent National Association of British Markets Authorities (NABMA) annual awards, Billingsgate won Markets Team of the Year. Judges acknowledged:
a. That whilst markets across the country were closing, Billingsgate was busier than ever, with the team working tirelessly to ensure that thousands of local people could buy fish quickly and safely.
b. That the market was not closed for a single day and that staff showed remarkable dedication to support the delivery of the service by adapting their roles.
c. That impeding access into the market hall had increased pressure on the constabulary who had worked tirelessly to reassure visitors whilst challenging unacceptable behaviour.
d. The team were further commended, for facilitating numerous temporary COVID-19 testing sites on behalf of Tower Hamlets in the collaborative response to the pandemic.
Judges had concluded that staff at Billingsgate were a credit to the industry in maintaining market operations in unprecedented times.
Markets Committee Members attended a tour of the market on 22 September 2022. Members were briefed by Countrystyle regarding waste recycling and nil landfill. The CEO of City Harvest also briefed Members on their activities and efforts to increase output now that they had secured additional space and were liaising with traders to facilitate more surplus tonnage donations.
The market was quieter during the autumn and this was reflected in the 13% reduction in vehicles using the car park over the last 2 months compared to usage during July and August. However, numbers are up by 17% for Sept and Oct 2021 compared to the same period in 2022.
Officers met with a green bio-fuel supplier to explore scope for bio-fuel being used for forklift trucks on site to reduce emissions in the market hall from forklift trucks. An ancillary providing site fuel is engaging in further discussions with the bio-fuel supplier regarding the feasibility of bio-fuel being used onsite.
Officers reported that there were no significant changes to report.
Rental of empty catering units
Agents were negotiating with several prospective tenants regarding rental of vacant units.
Members thanked Officers for the updates and Members who attended the New Spitalfields tour were appreciative of the informative presentations. Disappointment was expressed at the low attendance rate and also the poor transport provision. It was suggested that the annual schedule of tours for 2022 be agreed earlier in advance and that alternative dates should be offered for tours.
Officers felt that more could be done to promote the Markets and widen links in respect of the broader sustainability agenda