Agenda item

Superintendent's Updates

Superintendents to be heard.


The Committee received oral updates from the Market Superintendents as follows:


Billingsgate Market

The Superintendent reported that tenants were now threatening to withdraw part of the service charge for the Seafood School. £38,000 in charges were currently paid for the School who had indicated that they would continue to pay £18,000 of this but would need to find an additional £20,000 going forward. He reported that the School might now write to individual tenants to seek contributions.


With regard to the long-term sickness case the Committee had been made aware of, the Superintendent reported that the associated court case had now concluded and a sentence had been pronounced. The Superintendent and Corporate HR would now be meeting with the member of staff concerned later this week to discuss a return to work programme.


The Committee were informed that the Chairman of the Tenants Association remained in hospital after being admitted back in June 2016. He was now awaiting transfer to a rehabilitation centre but was unlikely to be out of hospital before Christmas.


Finally, the Superintendent updated the Committee on trade at the Market. As far as vehicles entering the market were concerned, this was 8% down on last year. Members were informed that customers were charged for parking at the site which gave an indication as to numbers entering the market. Data here suggested that numbers were 13% down on last year. The amount of fresh fish coming in to the market was 2% down versus the previous year. The Superintendent added that one trader had recently been through two rounds of redundancies involving many staff. Members were informed that, whilst the premises was still fully occupied at present, there were now far fewer enquiries as to potential vacancies.


Spitalfields Market

The Superintendent was pleased to report that the City had now reached the final stages of the rent and lease negotiations and Members would see a report on this in the non-public agenda.


With regard to tenders for the Waste Contract, the Superintendent reported that all tenders had now been received and would need to be evaluated by the 12 December 2016. At a glance, it appeared that all of the tenders received met the original specification very well. The idea was to legitimise waste brought on to the site and to control it’s a disposal – this would involve a significant culture change. In response to questions, the Superintendent recognised that the market’s CCTV system needed improving to help ‘police’ waste management. He reported that there would be a municipal site at which cardboard and plastic waste could be disposed of and that this would generate an income for the market going forward. If any waste was left elsewhere on site, the individual concern would be charged with fly tipping and would face a fine of up to £1,000 if found guilty.


The Superintendent went on to report on work place transport at the site. He reported that the pedestrian segregation barrier had now been installed and had been well received with no accidents reported. Forklifts were now also banned from parking in the area. A Gateway 7 (Outcome) report on this matter would be produced in January 2017, effectively closing the project.


Pedestrian crossings were to be re-instated with £100 fines issued to those parking in the wrong place. Parking on site was now strictly enforced and there had been positive feedback on this. Penalty charge notices had been erected on site which had served to reduce parking non-compliance (e.g. illegal parking in disabled bays and across several bays). In response to questions, the Superintendent reported that the Market Sergeants and Head of Security served the parking fines and that this was always done in pairs for reasons of personal safety. The £100 fine was reduced to £50 if paid promptly. The Superintendent reported that the City had waived their share of the income generated from fines for a set period of time which had resulted in a cost neutral solution. The scheme had been implemented by District Enforcement Limited at no cost to the City on the understanding that they would retain all income generated by the fines issued on site until the cost of implementing the scheme had been repaid. The Superintendent clarified that the intention had always been for this to be a control and not an income generation mechanism


Members were informed that the tenants/staff car park was to be relocated to the far end of the site which would result in faster deliveries on site and the potential to create better pedestrian access in that area.


Finally, the Superintendent reported that documents concerning the installation of an entry barrier on site were currently being reviewed with the City Surveyor and the Department of Built Environment. It was hoped that an invitation to tender on this could be prepared before Christmas.


Smithfield Market

The Superintendent regrettably informed the Committee of the recent death of long serving market cleaner Tony Richards. The Superintendent reported that the Committee/City of London had been represented at Mr Richard’s funeral. The Chairman asked that the commiserations of the Committee be passed on to the family of Mr Richards.


The Superintendent went on to report of recent ‘flare ups’ whereby some tenants had been using parking bays to store pallets. He reported that he had worked alongside the SMTA to put pressure on the worst offending tenants to cease this practice and that this had resulted in some improvements.


Finally, the Superintendent highlighted that this would be his last appearance at the Markets Committee given that he was to step down from his role at the end of the year. He thanked Members for their kind wishes regarding his departure. The Chairman, on behalf of the Committee, gave his thanks and best wishes to the Superintendent.


In response to a question regarding rubbish collection, the Superintendent reported that he believed that this commenced at 5am on site but that staff did not generally pick up any rubbish outside of the market unless specifically reported to them. If the waste was off site the matter could be progressed by the Department of Built Environment or by Islington Council as appropriate.