Dunmow Town Council mulls market plan which would see market day change from a Tuesday to a Saturday

PUBLISHED: 08:38 11 October 2018 | UPDATED: 08:38 11 October 2018

The town council meeting where the plans were met with reservations was held at Foakes Hall in  Dunmow. Picture: SaffronPhoto

The town council meeting where the plans were met with reservations was held at Foakes Hall in Dunmow. Picture: SaffronPhoto

SaffronPhoto 2016

Plans which could see the weekly market in Dunmow change location and day have been met with reservations by councillors.

Moving the market to Saturdays in Market Place, rather than on a Tuesday mornings in Angel Lane, as currently happens, would attract more shoppers to the town and bolster the high street, according to the Great Dunmow Town Team, which bought the plans forward.

However, town councillors raised concerns at a town council meeting on October 4 and the town team now plan on running surveys at the end of the month, to gather opinions on the market.

At the council meeting, Dunmow mayor, Councillor Barrie Easter questioned whether the traders who come to Dunmow on a Tuesday would still come on a Saturday when other “larger” markets were held.

Councillor Emma Marcus, replied: “This isn’t an issue because they are looking into other stalls.”

A letter sent from the town team to Uttlesford District Council on September 13 proposed a farmers’ market and a vintage and craft market on alternate Saturdays.

Town team member Jane Turton said the Tuesday market could still run as a separate body.

Speaking to the Broadcast after the meeting, Cllr Easter said that, in his opinion, a Saturday market wouldn’t help attract shoppers and questioned whether Market Place was a suitable location due to its size, proximity to a bus stop for elderly residents and position in Dunmow.

Councillor Philip Milne, a member of the management committee for the Dunmow Day Centre, said the move would be a “nail in the coffin of the day centre”.

Cllr Milne said fewer people would come to the centre on a Tuesday if the market moved locations, as Angel Lane and the day centre are near eachother.

Supporting the plans, Dunmow district councillor Vic Ranger said a Saturday market “could increase visitor numbers, bring people into the town for shopping, and bring better opportunities for retailers”.

A spokesman for the Great Dunmow Town Team said: “Over the past two years we have run two separate surveys to understand what the residents of Great Dunmow want. On both surveys there were a high number of residents who wanted to see an improved market and an improved location.

“The town team now wants to run a more focused debate as we believe that the niche services a market brings are lacking on the high street. We are a market town and we shouldn’t be afraid to promote that. The survey will take in all opinions including that of the existing market traders. Once completed we will present back to the town council for consideration if change is desirable.”

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