All of us were horrified by the terrorist attack at Borough Market which was the third such attack in a short time. Two in London and the third in Manchester. Everyone in the markets industry will want to send their best wishes to everyone directly affected.

Of course, the attack at Borough Market was not the first time that a market has been caught up by the cowardly deeds of terrorists. Not too long ago a Christmas Market in Berlin was also the subject of dreadful attack causing many deaths.

Markets are very public places and we want people to be safe and enjoy the experience of their visit. In this respect, it is important that safety and evacuation policies are kept under review. The National Counter Terrorism Security Office have issued recent guidance on dealing with the terrorism threat in crowded spaces. I would urge all those involved in markets management to have a look at this guidance. If you have any difficulties in locating the advice please contact NABMA.

On a much more positive note we have experienced another fantastic Love Your Local Market campaign. While we are still analysing the final results, it is clear that the momentum of the campaign is still as strong as ever with over one thousand markets supporting LYLM and the publicity and range of events as great as ever. Special thanks must go to Ellie Gill, NABMA’s LYLM Coordinator and Beth Ward, NABMA’s Social Media Manager for the great work they have done in making LYLM 2017 such a great success.

As I write this article, the result of the General Election has just been announced and the outcome is certainly not one that many people predicted. Nevertheless, we will soon be starting our engagement with Westminster. On 4 July, we have our Annual Parliamentary Reception and the first meeting of the All Party Parliamentary Markets Group is taking place the following day.

In preparation for these events, we have published a Markets Manifesto which highlights the issues that we want to pursue going forward. Some of the issues, like business rates and a review of street trading legislation, featured in our last Markets Manifesto but there are some new issues, particularly a focus on young people and securing support for our Pitch Up for Retail project which seeks to link market trading to formal education.

We will keep readers informed of the progress we make on the Markets Manifesto but the fact that we have such a Manifesto and a well established channel of communication with Westminster shows just how far the markets industry has come in recent years. NABMA and NMTF in particular have given markets a voice on the national stage.

Getting national recognition is also important to individuals and local markets and that is why I want to draw your attention to the Markets Awards and the Great British Market Awards. The Markets Awards seek to highlight the work of individuals and feature the Market Manager, Market Team and Market Innovation of the Year. This year we have added a new category to recognise the contribution made by young people. All that we require for three of the sections is a nomination. We will do the necessary research. If you are putting forward a nomination for Market Innovation we need details of what has been done so we can make an assessment of your project.

The Great British Market Awards have been in existence for almost ten years and have done much to raise the profile of the markets industry. We have just launched the 2018 Great British Market Awards and we look forward to receiving your nominations. There are categories for all shapes and sizes of markets including Britain’s Favourite Market. Look out for our application form.

NABMA is always looking to extend its range of services and shortly we will be launching our Frequently Asked Question service which will seek to highlight the questions which are important to the everyday operation of markets. A team of experienced market officers have put together the answers so we hope that our members will find this new service helpful.

Another extension to our services is a partnership between NABMA and a leading London Barristers Chambers. The provision of legal advice has also been central to NABMA’s offer and this new partnership will strengthen our ability to give the best possible service.

The first benefit from this new partnership has already been realised with a legal seminar held in London attended by almost fifty NABMA members. The seminar was chaired by Edward Cousins, Editor of Pease and Chittty, and we had contributions from a number of leading barristers on different aspects of markets and street trading.

Recently I had the pleasure of visiting Ireland. The first occasion was a visit to Cork and an opportunity to visit the English Market. The second occasion was a visit to Belfast and St George’s Market. Both are excellent markets are a credit to the markets industry.

Graham Wilson OBE, Chief Executive NABMA