This is the motion that Crawley Labour group proposed at the Full Council meeting on 23rd April.

This council recognises the recent campaign and petition organised by Crawley market traders, and signed by thousands of local residents, expressing their opposition to the forced removal of the Wednesday market at Queens Square (“the Square”).

The council also recognises that the lack of notice to traders, which resulted in them facing one week’s notice of having to move back to the High Street permanently, was unsatisfactory, and lessons need to be learnt from this.

The council is committed to a strong and vibrant market, and also a successful Square that attracts businesses and shoppers into the Town Centre.  It believes that the market on Wednesday has helped to attract additional footfall to the Square, and has contributed to the Square appearing more active and successful on those days.

The council recognises the concerns of market traders, and the financial pressures they are experiencing with the current conditions for the market on the High Street.  It also recognises that the Square is in need of renovation, and work may need to commence in future to ensure the Square remains a premier location for retail, for both residents and visitors alike.

The council therefore resolves:

(1)       to request that the Head of Planning and Environmental Services uses her delegated powers under the constitution to continue to give individual consents to market traders to trade in the Square each Wednesday, and in doing so she may require such traders to also commit to trading at the market in the High Street on other days;

(2)       for the relevant council officers to undertake urgent work to enhance public awareness of the market being held on Fridays and Saturdays in the High Street and to take practical steps to increase footfall there, if possible;

(3)       to commit to the market being allowed to continue in the Square on Wednesdays until such time as the square is required for improvement works to begin, to enhance and regenerate the square as part of ongoing plans by this council and West Sussex County Council to maintain Crawley’s place as a successful shopping centre;

(4)       to instruct officers to investigate ways that a more suitable location for traders can be found, such as moving the Wednesday market somewhere nearer the Square than the High Street, such as along the paving between Parkside and Queensway, and

(5)       to instruct council officers to work sensitively with traders, in a spirit of mutual co-operation, to accommodate “special events” and displays in the Square in a way that allows both the market and the proposed events to take place in the square without disruption to each other.

Proposed by:             _________________________

                                    Councillor P C Smith

Seconded by:           __________________________

                                    Councillor W A Ward

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