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Issue 348 – Market consultation comes to an end

RESPONSES to consultation for the Frome Market project are now being looked at by Mendip District Council after the end of their  consultation period. The council say they have received feedback from over 370 people.The consultation was intended to gauge public opinion on the proposed pilot of moving the market to the Market Place rather than its current location in the Cheese and Grain car park. In total 372 responses have been received from a mixture of interested parties including traders, businesses and shoppers. When asked about the trial, 43% of people were for it, 49% were against, with 6% unconcerned and 3% did not know.    The consultation was kicked off by officers from the district council attending Frome Market and talking to the people most likely to be affected. The survey has also been available on both Mendip District and Frome Town Council websites and at the Council Access Point (CAP) in the town.Mendip District Council’s consultation officer Gabriel Munns said, “This first phase of consultation was to establish what people thought of the council setting up a pilot to trial a relocation of the market.“There has been a good response to this initial phase of consultation, which has given a clear picture of what Frome thinks of the market relocation idea, the results will now go to the Frome market steering group to discuss and then a report will be taken to Mendip’s Cabinet in April, detailing a way forward.“The initial figures show that the majority of market traders are against this pilot whereas the majority of businesses that took part in the consultation are in favour.”The main concerns regarding the relocating of the market are: lack of space in new location; difficulty parking close to market;        road closure discouraging visitors/customers; leaving currently busy parts of the town empty and underused.The main stated positive effects of relocating the market are: bring more people into the town centre; make the market more visible/increase its size; free up more in-town car parking space; better general focus for the town. Cllr Philip Ham, portfolio holder for Governance, Assets and Public Spaces at Mendip District Council said, “The Frome Market steering group will now need to consider these comments and response and look at how the Frome Market project moves forward.“This has been a good partnership project and moving forward this approach will continue, as will the consultation with those that trade and shop at the market.“Mendip’s Cabinet will discuss the report put forward in April, which will confirm Mendip District Council’s approach to the future of Frome Market.”Those that took part in the market consultation also offered a number of suggestions on how to improve the current market, those being; to advertise the market more, offer reduced or free car parking on market days or to redesign the stall layout.                 Further analysis of these responses will take place and the results considered by the council before any decisions as to the future of Frome market are made.

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