This project involved oversight of a 13-week public consultation, working with the council’s Insight Team to devise a trader and customer survey, run drop-in sessions and use the response data to produce a three year strategy that recommended a way forward for all five of the council’s markets. Action plans were produced for one of London’s oldest markets on Berwick Street (Soho), the second biggest daily street market on Church Street and markets on Tachbrook Street (Pimlico), Strutton Ground (Victoria) and Maida Hill (Harrow Road). The plans were developed following extensive consultation and were in the context of developments already underway in the form of master/place plans and neighbourhood plans.

Brief
To:

  • Develop a street markets strategy to include a vision for the council’s markets that also identified the key issues facing them alongside five individual plans for each market
  • Project manage the development of the strategy through a statutory consultation period to incorporate a fees and charges review, public and stakeholder engagement to include:
  • Working with the communications team to develop messaging and material to support the consultation
  • Working with the Insight Team to develop consultation surveys, drop-in sessions and other engagement activities
  • Attending project meetings and updating key team members across policy, licencing, economy and policy who in turn kept local councillors and cabinet members informed
  • Produce a public facing designed and printed strategy for Licensing Committee approval

Results

  • 800+ survey responses were received during the public consultation including high levels of response from each market with no less than 50% from every market and in some case 90%+ Westminster Council Markets Strategy
  • Agreement reached for one of the markets to be relaunched, using community networks and creating a different offer to the markets that have gone before it
  • Due to extensive engagement with traders and wide consultation, the development of the strategy was received generally positively by traders, residents and customers with no major issues arising
  • The year-long process resulted in the creation of two temporary positions in the form of a markets development manager and a head of markets. The first time there had been roles in place to work across all markets looking at operational and process improvements for traders and customers linked to the strategy ideas
  • The consultation results showed strong support for: the markets becoming more sustainable via reduced plastic use and increased recycling; greater community involvement; more seating; attracting young people, local residents and start-ups to trade at our markets; information and promotion online for all markets and a wider range of products being available which supported the council with allocating resources and funding to these key areas
  • A trader training programme is being developed and market street WiFi enabled amongst the first round of projects being rolled out.
  • The results of the fees and charges review with recommended increases was approved by the Licencing Committee in November 2018 with the full strategy approved on 20 March 2019 by the council’s licencing committee.

You can read more about Westminster’s Street Markets Strategy on their website here and on the licencing committee page where you can download the final report.

We were very impressed with Diane’s work on Westminster’s street markets public consultation and strategy. Her expertise proved invaluable and we received some great feedback on our proposals, which were approved by the Licencing Committee. We look forward to seeing the strategy implemented across our five markets. Catherine Ford, Head of Economic Policy, Westminster City Council

 

If you need to run a public or trader consultation or review the future of your high street and/or market, contact us for an informal discussion.