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Deputation to Full Council

November 14, 2013


Click to watch our speech
Friends of Leed Kirkgate Market brought a deputation to Leeds City Council on November 13th. We told the meeting of 90 councillors how important the market was to the people of Leeds and how disturbed we were that none of the £1.615 million we were promised this year had been spent on anything except consultants. We asked the following questions:

  1. We are now 8 months into this financial year –  how much of the £1.6m has been already spent?
  2. On what will the remainder of the expenditure be spent?
  3. If this is the first phase of the total £12.3m how can anyone be sure any of this will be delivered as announced? We understand the £750,000 agreed for maintenance has been stopped!
  4. Why are some traders being asked to pay for electrical works even in units including Butchers row, which are meant to be demolished under current redevelopment proposals?
  5. Why is there no clear consistent policy for all traders?
  6. When will the proposals for this project be brought back to Executive Board for approval?
  7. The area behind the George Street shops is a major loading area for traders, what suitable arrangements for market requirements will be made for alternative loading facilities when this is gone?
  8. When and how will detailed proposals for the market changes be shared with the public and traders?
  9. How are traders themselves being involved in the design of this alternative management structure agreed at the Executive Board to include councillors, traders and independent representatives, and when will these management proposals be taken to Executive Board for approval?
  10. Can you please explain the reasons for the restructuring of the market management and the apparent reduction in expertise and resources and identify who is now acting as Market manager and why are they not visible to traders?

We finished with some poetry written by traders showing the current feeling -:

The market is ailing and in a sorry state,
The traders are abandoning this once magnificent place.
So many notices handed in to leave in the New Year
Will surely bring it tumbling down, like a deck of cards, as all the businesses disappear
No plans to change a single thing or clean and spruce it up
The millions promised never spent, just bailiffs to hang us up.
Like hungry vultures preying, on those who dared to try
And run a business in this place, now bled until they die

2014 will be the end

That is why at least 13 traders have handed in their notices to quit from January 2014.

Our appeal has been referred to the Executive Board who will consider it in due course.


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