Agenda item


Joint report of the Chamberlain and the Director of Markets and Consumer Protection.


Members received a joint report of the Chamberlain and the Director of Markets and Consumer Protection comparing the 2016/17 revenue outturn for the services overseen by the Markets Committee with the final budget for the year.


In an amendment to the written report regarding ‘Local Risk Carry Forward to 2017/18’, the Chairman reported that it was now the Director’s intention to carry forward £137,000 (as opposed to £120,000) for consultancy services to complete a report on the Strategic Review of Markets. The additional £17,000 referred to within the report as being carried forward to employ 1 apprentice Support Officer would now be met from the Director’s existing budget and not from any underspend.


In response to questions around the likely total cost of the Strategic Review and the Summit Group’s rejection of funding from the Transformation Fund for this, the Director reported that the Transformation Fund had been set up from City’s Cash and was overseen by the City’s Summit Group which was a Chief Officer group chaired by the Town Clerk and Chief Executive. The Group were aware of the Director’s underspend when a bid for Transformation Funds was made and felt that it would be preferable to make use of the underspend for this purpose as opposed to funds from this ‘pot’. The Director undertook to update the Committee on the total estimated cost of the Strategic Review within the non-public session.


With regard to Appendix B1 and the Comparison of the 2016/17 Operating Statement with the Operating Budget for each market, a Member questioned why one market seemed to be effectively cross financing another and how they might look to move away from this practice going forward. With regard to Smithfield Market, the Director reported that the site was operating at a deficit due to the fact that they were operating service charges on a ‘cap’ at present, as previously agreed by this Committee. This cap was set to remain in place until 31 March 2018 when the full service charge was to be implemented after a five year phasing-in period. The Director went on to report that the service charge covered the operational costs of each market. At Smithfield Market, Historic maintenance works, such as the Poultry Market, were not covered and, as part of the lease negotiations, a list of items not ‘in repair’ was drawn up and agreed between the City of London Corporation and the Market’s Tenants Association where it was agreed that such items would not be charged for until such time as they were ‘in repair’.


In response to a question regarding sinking funds, the Director reported that such a thing did not exist for Smithfield Market but that there were equivalents to this for both New Spitalfields and Billingsgate.


In response to further questions regarding the Poultry Market site, the Director reported that, as this was a listed building, the City Corporation would be required to undertake the necessary repairs and maintenance work regardless of whether or not the meat market continued to be sited here.


Finally, the Director reported that it was not the case that both New Spitalfields and Billingsgate were profitable and Smithfield was not given that the Markets were not entitled to make a profit on service charges. He added that the consolidated surplus to the City of London Corporation in 2016/17 was £1.96m as detailed within the written report. The Chamberlain clarified that money received from rent at the Markets covered the costs of Capital Charges and was all included within the total income figure.


RESOLVED – That, the revenue outturn report for 2016/17 and the proposed carry forward of under spending to 2017/18 are noted.

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