A FRESH approach could save Midhurst’s threatened farmers’ market claimed town councillors.
And now they are calling for a meeting with Chichester District Council (CDC) to talk about its future.
Last week, (September 9) the council was told the future of the market was in doubt because of spiralling costs and falling takings. It was kept afloat only by the Chichester and Petworth farmer’s markets.
Town councillors were angry they had not been consulted before being presented with three options, which included moving it to Petworth.
They felt they had not been helped by, what was described as their ‘mythical and absent’, district councillor Brian Weekes who raised concerns at a district council meeting before consulting them.
“He has used his only appearance in Midhurst in the last 18 months to seek to remove a facility from Midhurst and take it to Petworth,” said John Quilter.
“I’d like to invite Cllr Weekes to explain himself at our next council meeting.”
Colin Hughes said town councillors needed to review their approach to the market.
“We are currently giving £5,000 towards the cost of the town centre manager. If this market is removed from us, it calls into question the value of what we are paying for.
“We could employ someone ourselves and take on the work.”
“We are paying £5,000. How much is Petworth paying for the town manager it now shares with us? If it is not paying there is no harm in CDC supporting us with our market in the same way we are paying for Petworth to have a town centre manager.
“Let’s have some quid pro quo here.”
He was amazed there was currently no promotion work done to advertise the market.
If Petworth was getting ‘freebie’ help from the town centre manager he said, it would be better to use the £5,000 Midhurst Town Council currently contributed to find someone, themselves to promote it. “We need a far clearer approach than we are seeing. We need to push it and have music and make it an event. It strikes me there is no imagination going into it”
Gordon McAra said Petworth was getting a free service while it worked on its town vision in the same way Midhurst had when it carried out similar work.
Carol Lintott wanted to ‘revitalise’ the market in the interim period before it was moved to the revamped Market Square.