Frome Town Council have been unsuccessful in their efforts to secure the Saturday market in Frome. Currently suspended by Mendip District Council whilst they support the vaccination centre at Shepton Mallet, Frome Town Council had made a formal proposal to Mendip to run the markets in the interim. This will help to secure the Market for the traders whose livelihoods are threatened and enable residents to continue to enjoy the opportunity to shop safely for their essential goods in an open air environment.
Leader of Frome Town Council, Anne Hills said: “This is really disappointing news. We know that as a consequence of the redeployment of District Council staff to the vaccination centre it has been necessary to suspend the operation of the Saturday markets in both Frome and Wells and as a council we respect and support the role that Mendip District Council are performing. We simply want to help. We have expertise of running markets within the council staff team and have secured the services of events experts for the day management of the market.
“As requested, we put in a formal proposal that confirms that we are prepared to make the necessary staff resources available and sets out a management plan and detailed risk assessment. We are also prepared to fully fund the management and administration of the service and have been fortunate in receiving a pledge of financial support from Frome Chamber of Commerce.
“I believe that a temporary backfill of the Mendip Market team by FTC safeguards the livelihoods of the traders concerned, allows shoppers a safer alternative to the supermarkets and, therefore, secures the future of the District Council’s market operations in Frome. I also know that the early reinstatement of the Saturday market will be viewed very positively by local people. All that is required is for Mendip to issue us a licence.”
As yet, that permission hasn’t been forthcoming despite responding to all of the questions that the District Council has raised. It is understood that Mendip Council will be reviewing their non-statutory corporate services as a whole early next week and it is hoped that a return of the Saturday markets will be on that agenda.
The Market traders have set up a petition to demonstrate the strength of support in the town surrounding the Market. https://www.change.org/p/mendip-district-council-re-open-frome-saturday-market