Plans to protect the long-term future of Ridley Road Market
The Council currently spends £180,000 on subsidising its markets, most of which is the cost of clearing up Ridley Road each day. We are aware that there have been concerns raised regarding our proposals to reduce this spend and the impact this could have on the market.
Any suggestion that we are running down Ridley Road Market, or that we have aspirations to transform it into an ‘artisan style market’, are completely untrue. We have been working, and will continue to work, alongside the Ridley Road Market Traders’ Association to support and develop the market. Like them and the community it serves, we treasure Ridley Road, its heritage and the much-loved service and jobs it provides in the heart of Dalston.
However, the money we’re currently spending to clean up the waste left by the market traders is taken from the Council’s general funds. It could be spent elsewhere, funding other services or facilities. At a time of severe government funding cuts – we’ve already made £100 million in savings and are anticipating having to save a further £50 million over the next three years - now, more than ever, we need to fairly balance the needs of all our residents and businesses, ensuring our money gets spent where it’s most needed and reflects the best value for taxpayers.
At present we collect and dispose of about 21.3 tons of waste a week from Ridley Road. This includes cardboard boxes, pallets, fruit etc, all of which could be put in bins nearby by the traders themselves, at no expense to taxpayers.
Fees and charges for permanent traders at Ridley Road Market have only increased once in the past 21 years. This is precisely because we value and want to support the market and, as a result, traders here pay significantly less than equivalent markets across London.
It has been reported that pitch fees could rise by £10 per day on Ridley Road. This would only be true for about the 20 busiest sites. The vast majority of the remaining 140 stalls would see an increase of between just £1 and £4 a day.
There are ways the traders of Ridley Road can help to keep costs down. The vast majority of the current subsidy could be avoided by the traders simply disposing of their waste correctly, so we don’t have to pay to clear up after them. If this happens, we may be able to reduce their fees in the future. Our aim has always been to achieve a self-funding markets operation without need for tax-payers’ money. The steps we take now will help to safeguard the financial future of Ridley Road Market.
We have a strong track record of supporting and investing in Ridley Road Market.
- Permanent traders at Ridley Road Market have only had one increase in the past 21 years. This was in 2011.
- Temporary traders also saw an increase in 2011 after 16 years of no change. In 2014, the fees and charges were amended to reflect the location of the stall, with some traders seeing an increase and others a decrease.
- The fees and charges for permanent and temporary traders are extremely competitive compared to other London boroughs.
- In 2013, we launched the Waste Minimisation Plan to support and inform market traders about the importance of separating food waste from general waste and recycling. This was precisely because we wanted to help them to keep costs down.
- In 2014, we introduced two new schemes – the new trader discount and referral scheme www.hackney.gov.uk/markets-traders.
This cost-saving ambition isn’t all one way. We’ve also done what we can to reduce costs, including a restructure of the markets team and sharing administrative support with other services in the Council.
Aside from our markets consultation, many residents have voiced concerns about Transport for London’s (TfL’s) plans to construct a ventilation shaft in nearby Birkbeck Mews as part of the Crossrail 2 project, and the affect this may have on the market. We share these concerns and have made it clear in our response to TfL’s consultation that we believe this proposal is unacceptable.
During the consultation period we want to hear views on our proposals and encourage all market traders and shop front holders to have their say, as well as anyone else who wants to give their opinion. We will consider all feedback before we make our final decision. Have your say at consultation.hackney.gov.uk/parking-services/fees-and-charges.