The Superintendents to be heard.
The Committee received the Superintendents updates and noted the following :
The London Fish Merchants Tenants Association had recently elected a new Chairman and Council. The Superintendent had met with the new Chairman in respect of the action plan, and tenants remained supportive of moving to a co-located site. A programme of meetings had been set up to retain engagement.
The Metropolitan Police had not been able to provide support in the run up to the Christmas period. However, the Billingsgate Constabulary had worked with partners in respect of traffic management, with exceptional results; i.e. - no complaints from tenants or customers and a 50% increase in pay and display revenue on last year.
Standard operating procedures were being updated in respect of the most recent Government advice on Covid and risk assessments were being monitored. The Market had hosted many testing sessions on behalf Tower Hamlets, including a pop-up clinic from 3 am, making the facility fully accessible to market staff. More clinics would be held in the coming weeks.
The Christmas period had not been as busy as the tenants would have liked but trade had been brisk in the week before the Christmas closedown. Vehicle numbers for paying customers in November and December were 7% up on the same period in 2020, but data was not available in respect of any additional volumes purchased. HGV entry figures for November and December were down 23% on the same period last year, suggesting that either less produce was entering the site, or that tenants had been consolidating deliveries from the EU to save costs.
The Market had been assisting an ancillary tenant, who sells fuel on the market, by engaging a company to supply bio fuel for fork lifts, thereby improving air quality in the market hall.
Risk assessments in respect of Covid were being worked on and a standard operating procedure had been sent to all tenants. Tenants had been provided with masks within the first few days of the new restrictions, thereby ensuring that customers were wearing them in the Market Hall and adhering to Government and City of London Corporation regulations.
A tenant had been found for the large premises vacated in May 2021, and Members would receive an update in the non-public report at item 16 on this agenda. Further negotiations were ongoing with a perspective tenant for the vacant premises at 6 Allen House.
The Energy Team would be meeting with the Tenants’ Association on 27th January 2022.
Trade over Christmas had been quieter than expected, with a peak just before the Christmas closure but, as a result of the Omicron variant, footfall was down in comparison to 2020. Car parking concessions had been in place between 10th and 24th December, and there had been a decrease of 7.2% in parking compared to 2020. Peak parking had been recorded on 16th and 17th December and then between 19th and 21st, with an excess of 1400 cars daily during the concession period. As with Spitalfields, no data was available on volumes. Overall, there had been an increase in car park usage of 15% compared to last year.
There had been no significant changes to trade in the market as a result of Brexit, but risk meetings were ongoing.
All 3 markets had amalgamated standard operating procedures in respect of Covid. There had been an impact on security over Christmas, due to high numbers of staff testing positive, but this had been covered by additional resources from the City Corporation’s security contract. When supply was short, the Public Health Team at the City and Hackney had provided free face coverings and lateral flow tests to staff.
The Energy Team had intended to visit in November 2021 but this was postponed until the New Year. The Tenants’ Association is happy to engage in terms of good practice.
Works had started on Monday this week (17th January 2022) to address the failure of the glass canopy, with completion expected by 25th March 2022. This was showing as ‘green’ on the Risk Register as there is a security netting underneath it, with a 4-year longevity. A hoarding would be in place during the works, and at no point would the glass be exposed. City Surveyors had checked the structure and were satisfied in respect of the safety aspects.
Works to water storage tanks, air compressor dryers and the water condenser would commence in Quarter 4.
The LED lighting replacement works were due to start at the end of January/early February 2022, to replace the lighting in Grand Avenue.
Cash from capital works would be used in Phase 1 of the Car Park programme, and officers would be working with the Energy Team to secure additional funding for Phase 2, in order to replace bulbs and fittings in the car park and communal areas, thereby making savings on energy costs.
RESOLVED - That the report be noted.