Agenda item

Markets Business Plan Update

Report of the Director of Markets and Consumer Protection.


The Committee received a report of the Director of Markets and Consumer Protection providing Members with an update on progress for Period 1 (April-July) of 2016-17 against key performance indicators (KPIs) and objectives outlined in the Markets’ Business Plan.


The City Surveyor reported that final terms had only been agreed with advertising hoarding company Clearchannel at the end of last week. He therefore sought  Member’s authority to sign off on this under Delegated Authority ahead of the November Markets Committee meeting. The Committee were supportive of this approach.


In response to questions regarding charging points for electric vehicles in the Billingsgate Market carpark, the Superintendent of Billingsgate Market reported that, whilst he had received enquiries about this in the past, there were no charging points in the car park at present. He added that the car park was currently being used to capacity and reserving adequate space for the introduction of vehicle charging points was therefore not practical at present.  The Superintendent concluded by stating that he was happy to review this issue if there were sufficient demand going forward but underlined that he would not want passers-by utilising the space solely to charge their vehicles and then departing. The Chairman suggested that electric vehicle charging points across all City car parks was a wider issue for consideration by the Planning and Transportation Committee.


In response to questions regarding sickness levels during Period 1 (April-July) the Superintendent of Billingsgate Market reported that 81 of the recorded days for his site were attributable to one member of staff who continued to be on long-term sick leave. He added that legal proceedings in which the individual was involved would commence in mid-October and that, following their conclusion, he would look to agree a formal return to work plan. The Superintendent of Billingsgate Market was pleased to report that, in July, there was just 1 case of sickness absence to report from his site which was the long-term sickness case previously mentioned.


The Superintendent of Smithfield Market reported that his site’s above target sickness was attributable to two long-term cases (1 bereavement and 1 broken bone).


Finally, the Superintendent of Spitalfields Market reported that his above target sickness levels were also due to some long-term cases, both of which had involved planned operations. Long-term cases aside, the Superintendent was pleased to report he had very low levels of short-term sickness on site.


A Member suggested that, as long-term sickness cases could distort the figures reported to Committee, these should be separated out going forward. It was suggested that all sickness cases that lasted beyond 3 months should be reported separately going forward. Officers welcomed this suggestion.


In response to a question regarding sickness figures for August 2016, the Director reported that Smithfield Market had reported a total of 58 days sickness, Billingsgate had reported 33 days and Spitalfields just 1 day.


A Member questioned whether the targets around debt settlement could be tightened further with a view to 100% of debts being settled within 60 days. The Director reported that the quoted targets were in line with corporate, city-wide objectives but undertook to ascertain whether or not it would be reasonable to tighten these.


The Deputy Chairman questioned the underperformance of Smithfield Market in terms of incident reporting. The Superintendent of Smithfield Market reported that this was due to the late submission of 3 accident reports, all of which had involved external agencies. The necessary engagement of these external agencies had led to delays in all 3 cases. The Superintendent assured the Committee that this was something that he closely monitored.


The Chairman drew Member’s attention to an omission in the Billingsgate Market Filming/Photography report for April 2016 and reported that Janus TV GMBH had been charged a fee of £150 plus VAT  for the filming of a TV documentary on the site.  The Deputy Chairman went on to question why no charges were applied to the filming of news items at any of the markets. The Director confirmed that no charges were applied to general news items (in this case coverage ahead of the EU Referendum). The Deputy Chairman requested that a footnote detailing this be added to all future reports where necessary.



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