Travelling back from London recently I was intrigued by an article in the Evening Standard which suggested that “if you love the clutter and chaos of London Markets your home among the stallholders could become your Best Buy”?

The article by Ruth Bloomfield highlights a number several of the 200 London Street Markets and acknowledges that property developers are now creating marketplaces within some new developments as community space. One developer is introducing regular foodie markets at two of its current schemes.

James Hyman of Residential Agency at Cluttons argues thata great Market could have a transformative impact on local values. Look what Borough Market has done to an area that had nothing much 10 to 15 years ago”.

While acknowledging London is a special case but the issues highlighted in this article are capable of being replicated in many parts of the country. it is interesting to see this added value of markets in respect of property developments and prices.It is another reason to promote the creation and sustaining of good markets.

Mention of London leads me to report on a major new piece of research which has recently been commissioned by the Greater London Authority. The contract has been awarded to ROI and it will focus on mapping the current market activity within London and also cover a number of other issues. It is hoped that the research will be completed in September so watch out for publication in the second half of that month.

Another important development concerns business rates. NABMA has been heavily involved over a number of months in an appeal to the Valuation Tribunal on a proposed assessment of business rates liability on a market operated under street trading legislation. The Market is run by New Milton Town Council. The decision of the Valuation Tribunal, issued in June, rejects the appeal and supports the imposition of business rates on New Milton Market.

New Milton has a scheme of delegation from the District Council to run the Market under street trading legislation and initially New Milton arranged a contract with a private operator to run the Market on their behalf. However in recent years New Milton has taken the Market over and now runs the Market itself.

It is always been argued that street trading, except in very limited cases, does not attract business rates liability but the New Milton decision suggests that the position is now different.

It was felt that New Milton’s arrangements with the private operator might have swayed the decision particularly as the private operator might have made a profit in the early years of the contract but the decision has been solely on the principles of rating law.

This decision has important implications for all markets operated under street trading legislation but it is particularly important for London where the vast majority of Markets are operated under London Street Trading legislation. NABMA is seeking a meeting with the Valuation Office to see how the decision in New Milton is going to be implemented more widely We have just completed the last of our lectures on the current Diploma in Market Administration. Hopefully the bulk of the 28 students will now be applying themselves to complete the various assignments to we can look forward to a bumper number of successful students at the award presentation at NABMA’s Annual Conference in September.

After completing this year’s highly successful Love Your Local Market campaign NABMA is looking for a partner to assist in delivering the 2017 campaign. The withdrawal of government funding and the failure to secure a substantial new sponsor means that NABMA can no longer commit the £50,000 a year that we have spent on Love Your Local Market since it was created.

If any person or organisation feels they could partner NABMA then they should please get in touch with me by the end of July.