Agenda item



The Chairman, on behalf of the Committee, took this opportunity to formally welcome the new Superintendent of Smithfield Market, Mark Sherlock, to his first Markets Committee meeting.


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


Smithfield Market

The new Superintendent provided Members with some information as to his background and previous employment and reported that he was now just three weeks into his new role. He informed Members that he had spent his initial weeks undertaking tours of the market (including night visits) and had also taken time to meet with various tenants and SMTA representatives. In addition, he had met individually with key Officers in the Directorate.


He went on to inform the Committee that recruitment for a new Sergeant and Constable at the market was currently underway with interviews expected to take place in early February 2017.


In response to questions regarding the recruitment process, the Operations and Administration Manager reported that existing market constables were aware that they were able to apply for the role of sergeant and that this should be viewed as an opportunity for progression. This applied across the City Markets as well as within individual Market sites. He confirmed that one existing constable had, indeed, applied for the Sergeant post on this occasion.


Billingsgate Market

The Superintendent confirmed that tenants were going to withdraw their service charge to fund the Seafood School from 1 April 2017. The School were now planning to contact individual tenants regarding future contributions as well as further examining their own budgets. The Deputy Chairman suggested that funding for the Seafood School might be mentioned to those who used the Market for filming/photography free of charge in future, with the suggestion that they might like to make a contribution to this in lieu of any fee. The Chairman stated that he felt it would be a very retrograde step if the market were to lose the Seafood School on site. He requested a presentation on the issues currently faced by the School at the next meeting of the Markets Committee.


The Committee were informed that the member of staff involved in the long-term sickness case they had been advised of previously had started a phased return to week at the end of December 2016 and it was hoped that he would be back at work full time by the end of this month. The Superintendent commented that his return to work had been very positive to date.


The Superintendent reported that the Chairman of the Tenants Association continued to remain in hospital at the present time and was awaiting a transfer to a rehabilitation centre.


Finally, the Superintendent reported on a piece of market land currently occupied by Crossrail in relation to building work they had undertaken on Canary Wharf Station. The Market were now seeking the return of this land and were awaiting an official response on this by the end of the week. The Superintendent reported that the Market did have an intended use for the land going forward. In response to a question, the City Surveyor confirmed that Crossrail had paid the City to occupy this land.


New Spitalfields Market

The Superintendent reported that ‘Dawsons’ had been granted a tenancy at will to occupy 3,500 square foot on site which would generate an income of £22,000 per annum and also reduce the service charge for existing tenants. He commented that it would be extremely valuable service to have in the market where they would be able to repair forklifts on site as well as provide registry certification.


With regard to signage, the Superintendent reported that notices to prevent members of the public coming in to the market too early each day (before midnight) was now in place. He clarified that contact with HGVs and other large vehicles delivering goods was a particular concern at this time. He added that the market was currently using ANPR technology to identify the worst offenders and that fines of £100 could be issued to these individuals as an interim measure before barriers were put in place as a more permanent solution.


Finally, the Superintendent referred to smoking on site which was an ongoing problem. He confirmed that attempts to engage with Waltham Forest on this matter had been unproductive to date and so it was currently incumbent upon the City to enforce against this as best they could through the terms on tenants leases. At present, any member of staff caught smoking in any part of the market was issued with a £50 fine. A £100 fine could also be issued to those smoking at their stands at present as part of a compliance review.