To elect a Chair in accordance with Standing Order 29.
The Board elected a Chairman in accordance with Standing Order 29.
Being the only Member expressing a willingness to serve, it was RESOLVED, that – Deputy Henry Pollard be elected as Chairman of the Markets Board for 2022/23.
The new Chairman thanked Members for voting for him and addressed the new Board, as set out below; presenting his vision for providing a consultative leadership model, working closely with the Markets’ Department’s excellent officer team.
1. In respect of the current Terms of Reference, the Chairman believes that the new Board should have greater input to the Markets Co-Location Programme (MCP) and that; ‘oversight of the management of all matters relating to Smithfield Market, Billingsgate Market and New Spitalfields Market and the letting of all premises therein’ needs clarity as to whether this is implicit?
2. Whilst accepting that other Committees, such as Policy and Resources and Finance should retain oversight, the Markets Board’s has a vested interest in the success of the MCP. Additionally, tenants should be involved in the design, in an advisory capacity, to provide the expertise required to future proof the Programme. We need to look at co-opting representatives from tenants’ associations and other professionals in the Markets arena, and scope current and future potential for more sustainable transport: i.e., rail and river for distribution. To achieve this, consideration should also be given to establishing a Sub Committee or Working Party to cover MCP delivery.
3. The Chairman stressed the need to work quickly in this matter, seeking delegated authority, as the next Markets Board is not scheduled to meet until 13th July 2022. The Chairman has spoken to a range of Senior Officers and Chairmen and believes there is an understanding on the direction of travel.
4. Members will need to establish what they want from the new Board in terms of the agenda format; i.e. - establishing a relevant set of KPIs and risk register, and an oversight of 3 and 5 year plans, without micro managing local issues. The Board can suggest standing items, issues we need to cover, and provide a sounding board for our professional officers to work with pragmatically, utilising Members’ various skill sets to provide advice and direction.
5. We will retain oversight of the existing markets and continue to deal with ongoing issues; i.e. – collapsing roofs, cold storage, animal bi-product facilities and the Markets’ general sustainability as they near end of life.
6. We need to help guide the Bill through the necessary legislation, whilst curating support from tenants and politicians.
7. As a new Board, we can have an aspirational vision; prove our relevance and become the premier markets organisation – pan London, UK and globally – as we have done in other sectors in the City; i.e. - culture, open spaces, education and charity.
8. We can take a lead in sustainability, focusing on reducing food loss and food waste, to ease the pressure in the ‘field to fork’ value chain and encourage new sources of product, work with the National Association of British Market Authorities (NABMA) and the World Union of Wholesale Markets (WUWM), and maybe benefit from visits to other markets, e.g., Rungis.
9. Members, officers, tenants and other stakeholders need to work together; visiting the markets at the earliest opportunity will be key to this.
10. We need to work sustainably and in line with the Corporation’s Net Zero targets – in terms of energy and waste - by encouraging and supporting local charities in the distribution of excess; i.e. - City Harvest and others.
11. Looking to the future, we can provide aspirational aid – to help fund and encourage cold chain technology, using clean renewable energy, giving impetus to upgrade transport links and help export markets, enhance technical innovation, develop educational support and embrace funding from the private sector, encourage match funding for projects such as agro-industrial parks, partner NGOs and private equity, become a pump prime investor and a valued source of expertise, which in itself can become a positive commercial arm of the City of London Corporation.
12. Whilst accepting there is a lot of work to be done, the Chair hoped that the Board shared this vision to provide a consolidated market that is the envy of the world!
Members responded as follows:
a) The immediate past Chair of Policy and Resources (CPR), also a Member of the Board, commended this vision, which would be best achieved by working in partnership with the other committees responsible for delivering it, whilst noting the Markets Board’s role as ‘client’. The immediate past Markets Chairman was commended for being an exemplar of joint working.
b) The inclusion of traders in the design elements was endorsed, as their specialist advice is key to achieving the vision.
c) The immediate past CPR was commended for her tenacity in obtaining an agreement with Smithfield Tenants.
d) In respect of reviewing the Terms of Reference, the Chief Operating Officer offered to provide a fuller set of options, which would inform the kind of expertise needed and set the parameters for representatives or tenants, noting some might be commercial and that their role might need to be advisory and non-voting. The Board also asked if the consultation, under the delegated authority, could include all Members of the Board, as well as the Chairman and Deputy Chairman.
In terms of setting up a Working party or Sub Committee in respect of the MCP, the Town Clerk advised that this need to be approved by the Policy and Resources Committee, in line with recommendations arising from the Governance Review.
It was Proposed by Henry Pollard, Seconded by Brian Mooney and RESOLVED, that – authority to amend the Board’s Terms of Reference, in terms of seeking to co-opt expertise from the tenants associations, be delegated to the Town Clerk, in consultation with the Chairman, Deputy Chairman and Members of the Markets Board. NB. This would then need to be approved by the Policy and Resources Committee and confirmed by the Court of Common Council.
The Chair thanked new and retiring Members, particularly the immediate past Chairman, John Chapman for his legacy in setting the direction of travel for the MCP.