Below is a letter submitted to Haslemere Herald for inclusion in the edition of w/e 5th Feb 2016. The application for use of The Square for the markets will be on the agenda of the next Council meeting (15th Feb). The agenda will be issued on Tues 9th Feb.
Your report of the meeting in Grayshott on the 19th January on the future of the Market and further recent correspondence has highlighted some of the issues surrounding the future of the Market. Grayshott Parish Council as owner of The Square in Headley Road, where the Market has been held for the past two years, takes its responsibilities in the letting of this community area very seriously. In agreeing to the Market being held on a Saturday once a month it has viewed this usage as consistent with the twin objectives of encouraging the retail environment and adding to community benefit.
What seems clear is that the Market has brought both benefits and disbenefits. On the down side it was not anticipated that some permanent traders would suffer sharp downturns in takings on Market days. The relative success of the Market in bringing more people into Grayshott on a Saturday has put pressure on existing car parking and traffic management. That pressure will in turn deter some local regular visitors.
On the upside permanent traders are also reporting an overall increase in business some of which may well be attributable to the Market. This has important implications for the future of both the economic and social development of Grayshott. It also seems clear that many people in Grayshott do enjoy the Market and regard it as both a retail and social event.
Now that we have all had the two year experience of the Market with these conflicting outcomes a way forward needs to be found and the Parish Council believes that the two parties in dispute over its continuation should themselves identify the solution.
The renewal of the licence for the Market to continue in 2016 will be on the Parish Council’s agenda for its meeting on 15th February. Through your pages I would urge the parties to continue their dialogue, make whatever compromises are necessary and come to the meeting with their proposal. A clear steer from those engaged in the retail sector in Grayshott recognising both the short and longer term needs of Grayshott is essential.
Grayshott Parish Council