Westminster opens consultation on street markets

Mon, 06/08/2018

A consultation on Westminster’s street markets launched today with a call for residents, community groups and traders to contribute ideas - on line or in person - to help the city’s six street markets thrive at the heart of local communities.

Westminster City Council wants to help the city’s markets become more environmentally and financially sustainable, offer a more diverse mix of products and invest in new IT and infrastructure so each market is a great place to work and shop.

Cllr David Harvey, Cabinet member for Economic Development, Education and Community, is asking everyone in the community to help shape the council’s strategy for each of its markets. During September and October, the council will be running a series of drop-in sessions for each market, giving local people an opportunity to discuss how they would like their market to serve them in the future.

In a letter sent to traders, local residents and community groups today, Cllr Harvey said:

“This consultation is an opportunity for you to shape the future of your city’s markets, helping keep thriving local markets at the heart of our communities and ensuring they provide a fantastic service to residents and visitors.”

The consultation is open to residents, shoppers, visitors and businesses as well as traders, and seeks views on how to:

  • keep markets at the heart of their communities, providing a fantastic offer to local residents; 
  • encourage more non-street food traders to open market stalls, bringing more diversity to Westminster’s markets;
  • attract more tourists where this would have a positive impact on the revenue of the market traders and the neighbourhood;
  • recruit the next generation of traders and boost training on topics such as customer service, display, taking card payments and creating an online presence;
  • provide a wider selection of goods, regular new products and events; and
  • become more sustainable by increasing recycling, reducing plastic, offering in-season food, and increasing biodegradable packaging and reusable energy.

Details of local drop-in sessions, which are open to traders and residents, are as follows. It is not necessary to pre-book.

Market Venue Date Time
Strutton Ground The Abbey Centre - Ashley Cooper room Weds 12th September 11am-7pm
Maida Hill  Yaa Centre Weds 19th September 11am-7pm
Church Street Church Street Library  Tues 2nd October 10.30am-6.30pm
Tachbrook Street St James the Less Church Tues 9th October 11am-7pm
Berwick Street and Rupert Street Soho Centre, Westminster Kingsway College Tues 16th  October 11am-7pm

In parallel, there will also be a consultation on some changes to the daily street trading licence fees. These would be the first changes since 2006 and will make sure the basic running costs of Westminster’s markets are fully funded by local traders.  Under the proposed new system start-up stalls and those managed by Westminster residents would pay the lowest application fees. 

Westminster City Council can only recover the costs of cleansing, waste collection and administration fees through its street market licensing regime, which currently runs at a loss – with the council effectively subsidising Westminster’s markets by around £300,000 a year. Investment in services such as new infrastructure or promotional activity must be raised through other mechanisms.

Cllr Harvey said:

“We cannot avoid the need to put our finances on a sustainable footing, but we are absolutely committed to a prosperous future for our independent traders.  We want to keep charges as low as possible and to share costs fairly, ensuring Westminster’s markets remain competitive with others across London.”

Currently daily street trading licence fees are £10.61 Monday to Thursday, £18.16 Friday and £24.40 Saturday. Westminster City Council has designed the four suggested options below to initiate discussion around how the increased charges can be structured.

  • Option 1 – a standard fee of £22 per day across all markets
  • Option 2 – a fee of £20 per day for non-food and fresh produce traders and a fee of £25 per day for hot food traders
  • Option 3 – an area based charge: £21 per day for Church Street and Maida Hill, £22 per day for Strutton Ground and Tachbrook Street, £24 per day for Berwick Street and Rupert Street
  • Option 4 – a staggered increase across all markets: a fee of £16 per day Monday – Thursday and £22 Friday – Saturday in year one, then a fee of £22 per day in year two across all days.

The consultation will run until 29 October 2018. The new strategy for Westminster’s markets will be implemented from April 2019.

Full details of the consultation, events, the draft strategy and the questionnaire can be found at https://openforum.westminster.gov.uk/street-markets

Within the city of Westminster there are six daily street markets.  They are: Berwick Street, Church Street, Maida Hill Place, Rupert Street, Strutton Ground and Tachbrook Street. There are also two weekly farmers’ markets, Marylebone Farmer’s Market and Pimlico Road Farmer’s Market.

The strategy will encourage local and new enterprise and demonstrate commitment to our local residents by proposing concessions of 50% for start-ups and 20% for applications from Westminster residents. Full details for the existing and proposed charges and concessions can be found online at http://committees.westminster.gov.uk/ieListMeetings.aspx?CommitteeId=129.

Last updated: 23 October 2018