After taking over eighteen months to respond we have finally got the answer to the government’s consultation of pedlars and street trading and what a disappointment. The pedlars legislation is to remain and there is to be no change to the definition.
There is to be some further tightening up on background checks but Nabma has no confidence that this will be effective. The police, who are responsible for the current licensing system of pedlars, have shown little appetite for making the existing arrangements work so what hope is there that a system that requires further enquiries to be made will improve matters.
The government estimates that there are around 4000 pedlars. We know that there are over 100,000 people engaged in markets and street trading. It seems that the 4000 are being looked after to the detriment of the100,000. What influence do pedlars have that people in markets and street trading lack?
Nabma invested considerable money in getting advice from a European expert on the impact of the European Services Directive and we shared that advice with the government. In the eighteen months since the consultation closed not one attempt was made to discuss with us the issues we raised.
Nabma has written to the Minister, Jo Swinson at BIS, expressing our concern at the outcome and again pointing out the problems caused by pedlars particularly at Christmas. If you experience problems let me know. I would be happy to pass on the information to the Minister.
On a more positive note it was great to visit Ashton-Under-Lyne Market to launch the Great British Market Awards. What a great team there is at Ashton and we saw a really busy market and a great atmosphere. Details of the Great British Market Awards have been published in Market Trade News. There is a category for every shape and size of market. What are you waiting for? Get your entry in soon and also organise voting for Britain’s Favourite Market. Online voting, via the Nabma website at www.nabma.com opened on the 1st December goes on until the end of the year.
We have some great Christmas markets all around the country and Christmas is one of the busiest time for markets, but Saturday 7th December is Small Business Saturday and all markets are asked to consider how they can support this important event. Markets have been the starting point for some great retail successes and we want to celebrate the importance of markets in getting a business started. So please show your support for Small Business Saturday. Thinking of Christmas we also want to keep the Love Your Local Market focus alive during Christmas. Add the LYLM badging to your Christmas event and give it that extra dimension.
At the end of November there is to be a meeting in Paris to discuss the next stage in the European LYLM campaign. We are looking at possibly fifteen countries participating next year. You never know but one day it might get as big as the European Song Contest. Next year we want to try and break the 1000 market barrier in the UK. Watch out for details early in 2015. Nabma has also launched details of the One Day Conference which is being held at Birmingham on the 29th January. This is always a well-attended event and this year we are joining with the National Market Traders Federation to focus on the Mission for Markets.
Full details of the Conference and booking forms can be obtained from the Nabma office at firstname.lastname@example.org or via the Nabma website. As this is the last article that will be published before Christmas Nabma would like to wish everyone involved in the markets industry a happy and prosperous Christmas. It has not been an easy year for many markets but there are success stories around and there are still good reasons to be optimistic in 2015.
Graham Wilson OBE, Chief Executive,