Cllr Peter Smith – Crawley Market
Speech to Full Council on Wednesday 23rd April 2014
There has been a market in Crawley for many years – in fact, the Crawley Observer last week reports that there has been a market in Crawley for 800 years. There has certainly been a market in the New Town for over thirty years. During this time the market traders of Crawley have supported our Town by running a successful market.
But recently we seem to have been giving them a hard time. And for no particularly clear reason.
The problems with the market are probably more than just the location and may be related to the general deterioration in the Town centre, that has been allowed to happen over the last few years, with nothing being done about it. And they are certainly related to the changing dynamics in the High Street, Queens Square and the Mall.
We wish to see a prosperous market continue in Crawley. One that is well run and organised and one that provides a rich choice for Crawley residents. And most importantly one that is viable for the traders themselves.
We must find a long-term solution for a successful market in Crawley, one that works with our plans for the Town centre and Queen’s Square and that enables the market to be successful for residents, the traders and the Council.
Our motion calls for the Council to treat the market traders properly and fairly. And it calls for the Council to continue to permit the Wednesday market in Queens Square until the improvement works require a different location.
And we call on the Council to have a proper dialogue with the trader’s representatives so that solutions can be found that work for the traders, for the residents and for the other interested parties, like the shop-keepers in Queens square. We must find a longer-term, sustainable and viable solution for the market that will return it to good health and, ideally, build it back to a more successful basis.
We are asking that all members of the Council support this resolution and help to ensure that Crawley continues to have a high-quality and successful market.
Labour Ifield and Ifield West (Shadow cabinet member for Planning and Economic development)