Talks on the future of Bingley market take place tomorrow, when traders and Council bosses try to hammer out a deal on how to secure its future for 2013 and beyond.
Bingley councillor David Heseltine has brokered a private meeting between a consortium of three local businessmen, who want to take over complete control of the market, and the Council officers currently responsible for its running.
The Council is keen to off-load the cost of setting up and dismantling the stalls and wishes the traders to take on that responsibility themselves. However, it wants to keep control of gathering the rents for each pitch – although these may be at a reduced rate to reflect the new effort or cost of setting up the stalls.
But the consortium of trader Dean McNally, Bingley art firm boss Richard Tempest and 5Rise shopping centre manager Richard Holmes want to run all aspects of the market.
They approached Coun Heseltine with their carefully costed plans and he spoke to Susan Hinchcliffe, portfolio holder for employment, skills and culture.Now she is to meet with the consortium tomorrow, together with Council officers.
“These three businessmen have stepped up to the breach, so my view is let’s get round the table and let’s get talking,” Coun Heseltine (Con,Bingley) said.
“I saw Councillor Hinchcliffe the other day and explained to her that the consortium have a well thought-out and costed plan. So now they need to put their financial model on the table and talk it through.
“We need to resolve what’s going to happen to a very important part of Bingley so that everyone knows how the market’s going to be in 2013.”
Mr McNally said it was important to secure the market’s future as quickly as possible to end any uncertainty.
“These talks on Tuesday will be vital to get things moving,” he said. “We still want to take over the running of the market and it’s a case of convincing the council officers that we have the knowledge and manpower to do it.
“If they just want us to set up and dismantle our own stalls and not use the council ones, then that will just look scruffy, which will do neither the market or the town any good. We hope will have a clear idea what’s going on after meeting councillor Hinchcliffe on Tuesday.”