Council to explore new opportunities to help sustain and develop markets
Wakefield Council is asking external organisations for feedback on the district's markets to seek assurance that the way the markets are currently being delivered gives residents the best possible service and provides the best value for money.
As budgets reduce, the Council is continuing to look for ways to protect the sustainability of services. The engagement exercise with the external organisations, which have been provided by the National Association of British Market Authorities, will help identify if there are any improvements, new ways of working or opportunities for different delivery models. The aim is that these would not just provide sustainability but also create greater opportunities to develop and improve.
Wakefield Council manages markets in Castleford, Normanton, Ossett, Pontefract, South Elmsall and Wakefield.
Cllr Denise Jeffery, Cabinet Member for Economic Growth and Regeneration, said: "I have spoken to a number of traders in a variety of our local markets who have said they would like us to explore the options to see if there are new opportunities or different ways of working.
"We know that many of our residents value the role that their local markets play and we are committed to ensuring that the district's markets remain sustainable in the future.
"But, we have to be realistic and with over £144m wiped off our budget and with more cuts to come - we need to be innovative and open to new ideas.
"I want assurance that the way we deliver markets gives our residents the very best service. However, if there is a better way out there to provide and improve markets we must look at all possible options."
Traders and staff will also be consulted about the improvements they would like to see. This feedback, and the findings of the engagement exercise, will be reviewed and form part of a report which will go to Cabinet later this year.