OpinioN8

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It is beginning to look a bit more likely that there will be at least a trial of a Farmer's Market in Crouch End. The idea of using the space in front of Hornsey Town Hall for a Farmer's Market has been floating about for ages, but Haringey has a blanket provision in its regulations against granting a temporary street trading licence, and the space has no permanent licence.

At a meeting of the Council's General Purposes Committee last night (19th May 2011) it was agreed that the ban on temporary licences would be lifted for a period of 6 months, but, so as not to make it too easy, it was also agreed that there would be a consultation with residents and traders in the affected areas before anything actually happens (for details see this document section 3)

According to this article there is considerable opposition from some local traders to the idea.

In outline the opposition goes:

  • shops pay rent and rates - market stalls don't
  • shops are here everyday paying staff - market stalls turn up only when its busy
  • the market will be selling the same stuff as shops but cheaper - local shops will lose sales
  • there is already a Farmer's Market just down the road
  • if there is an influx of shoppers Crouch End's parking won't cope with it

Points in favour include:

  • Market will enable fresh locally produced food to be available.
  • That Market Day shoppers will bring business to local shops by shopping for more essentials and frequent the local cafes.
  •          will support close to London farming businesses.
  •           encourage people outside of Crouch End to shop there on Market Day
  •          enhance the lively ambiance and character of Crouch End.
  •         bring the age old market tradition to Crouch End
  •           make good use of the village square

I'm not sure if there is a formal mechanism for ensuring that you can have your say when the consultation takes place, but you might like to get in touch with robin.payne@haringey.gov.uk whose name appears on the recommendation or with enforcement@haringey.gov.uk the department which enforces street trading licences

Tags: crouch end, farmers' market, haringey, hornsey town hall, street ttrading

Views: 884

Replies to This Discussion

Thanks Cheryl for confirming your vested interest in this debate. I think some people might like one but as you can see there are many that dont so given your sentence that

"We certainly never bring a marekt to an area where people dont want one" you and the organisation you work for will withdraw and concentrate on developing ally pally?

It would be fascinating to see the methododlogy used here  - the questionnaire, the questions on it, who was given it and the total numbers of replies. Or is it a Sun sort of poll where 90% of those replied  felt that the moon was made of cheese thus leading to the headline

" Mice overjoyed by Sun demonstrating to the nation that the moon is made of cheddar?"

(10 replied out of 50 asked and of those 10, 9 said cheese please. The 10th was a Lancastrian. Both he and his dog were appalled it was not wensleydale)

You are questioning the methodology of Deborah’s questionnaire. My concern now is: who will monitor the effects of the farmers’ market on the shops?  What is the baseline from which it would be measured? And would those few who have resisted for so long admit they had benefitted?

Why aren't FARMA lobbying to have the Ally Pally one turned into a proper farmer's market? Do we really need another so close by? I used to visit the original FM in Bath every week when I was a student there, so I'm definitely not against farmer's markets in principle, but I am really worried about of having one in Crouch End.

A market would benefit some shops in Crouch End - the clothes, shoes, gift shops, etc - and it would certainly benefit the cafes. No one's going to lose sleep over its effect on the supermarket chains. But it would provide direct competition with our small, local, independent food shops, who are already enormously pressed by ridiculously high rents and rates. The margins on these shops are tiny - just ask any of the shopkeepers - and for some a farmer's market operating on one of their busiest days could easily prove fatal.

I think these shops are the real heart of CE, the real source of the so-called 'village atmosphere' that so many treasure. These businesses most deserve our support, else we'll end up with one of those high streets that are full of nifty places to have coffee or buy shoes or even ice cream (!) but with nowhere to get the ordinary, down-to-earth daily shopping done apart from some faceless supermarket. I work from home, and pop out to the shops pretty much every day, not just to grab a sandwich or some stuff for dinner, but for the gossip, the social side of it. I know a lot of other local freelancers who do the same.

I don't want Crouch End to become one of those places that lights up once a week and is dead the rest of the time. Farmer's markets are great - I still order my tea from the completely fabulous Wiltshire Tea Company at the Bath market - but the stallholders aren't embedded into the local community the way a physical shop is; they aren't as invested in Crouch End. The profits from a farmer's market will flee the borough and we may well end up with less choice, and a less interesting high street, as a result.

 

On the contrary, the producers would soon befriend the community, and would employ locals to help on their stalls, and go shopping. I witnessed this at Islington, where I re-met families who had been my neighbours before I moved to Crouch End.  I also worked freelance and my social life revolved around fellow parents. Once my children went to secondary school I saw much less of the neighbours. The weekly farmers’ market will be a perfect opportunity for people to get together regularly. It’s the likes of Tesco whose profits flee the borough. Having been advised to “win hearts and minds”, LFM only applied for planning permission after David Winskill said the almost simultaneous arrival of Tesco and M&S might “keep people in the town centre” – precisely our argument. There are still lots of Crouch-Enders who drive to Tesco or Sainsburys – plenty of “food pounds”. 

Is the Cheryl Cohen below the same Cheryl Cohen who works for the London Farmers market people? Just wondered as if so might like to declare an interest. I would like to declare an interest too. I have lived in Crouch End for many years and noted several unwelcome changes. Apart from the destruction of many backland sites by greedy property developers we have also seen the horrible growth of cars and most importantly here, the decline of local shops. The latter - the Dunns and the greengrocers as well as the glaziers and the wonderful Purkis emporium  -help to make the place special. By having the farmers market you get 2 for the price of 1 - you bring in more cars and you affect the local traders. In fact you get 3 for 1 for the price of one as by having a market there you compund the awfulness of Spizzoa whose less than rigid adherence to planning law has resulted in the space formerly of use for pedestrians, buggies and wheelchair users  being taken over by the awful yawnings and the tables and chairs. Of course this vital space will be reduced further if there is a farmers market.

I have nowt against farmers markets but if I need to go to one I go to Ally Pally.

I'm trying not to interfere from across the Atlantic, but I can't bear to witness this discussion without correcting a few errors. For a start, Cheryl has not hidden the fact that she works for London Farmers' Markets. She lives in Haringey and has been very patient and supportive throughout the long campaign which I ran without pay because I really wanted my "village" to enjoy a market like the one in Islington. Now that I've moved to New York she is supporting Deborah.

The research resulting in the report "Trading Places" was carried out by the New Economics Forum, the highly respected think tank which believes in "economics as though people and the planet matter". It is the same organisation that campaigns against the closure of independent shops and local banks and post offices. They are responsible for publications and warnings about 'ghost towns' and 'clone towns', and the Director Andrew Simms wrote the book "Tescopoly" about how big supermarkets and chains drain money out of local economies. The NEF report actually came about because the Crouch End Traders' Association and Cllr Winskill demanded academic research proving that shops would not suffer but, having asked for it, they apparently choose to ignore its conclusions. It's about 80 pages long so I don't suppose anyone can be bothered to read it. I attach a document of "extracts" from it. In Marylebone, the food shops invited the farmers' market in, and issued joint leaflets. The intention of a market in Crouch End is to serve people who live within walking or biking distance or come by bus, and to help the shops, rather than driving out to supermarkets. People attempting to come by car will soon learn there's nowhere to park. All these issues have been discussed many times over the years. The local press likes to stir up an excitement every couple of years, but the Council finds it easier to procrastinate. Do ask FARMA about Ally Pally, and please read the nef report before spreading any more of this negative propaganda.

 

Attachments:

Its simples Jo. Develop the ally pally farmers market where there is loads of car parking.

Can you point out where Cheryl states that she works for London market Farmers markets in this discussion? I cant see it anywhere. Can you?

 

Good luck with looking after things in New York. We hope to look after things in crouch end!

In her first post Cheryl writes:

"On average, around 60% of people walk to our markets. 10% use bikes or public transport. We certainly hope to encourage sustainable transport to a market if it happened in Crouch End."

She obviously didn't intend to deceive, and I think the various suspicious accusations are unfair and unreasonable. Anyone who has taken an interest in this issue over the past twelve years would know about London Farmers' Markets and Cheryl. And who knows more about farmers' markets than those who are actually involved? 

And now I'm confused Les. Are you the administrator of this site?

No I am not Jo. Again, its simple -lets use and develop the market at ally pally. Though we might have different views there is clearly an issue about potential adverse effect on local traders and cars. So to me we should abandon the Crouch End idea and instead use and develop Ally Pally. This is where Cheryl's expertise should be focused - not on this rather divisive issue.

Sorry, Les, but you don’t know the facts here.  LFM considered the Ally Pally site and declined to take up the offer. They did not wish to be an extra “visitor attraction” for the park, preferring to be in the town centre closer to lots of homes and benefitting the shops, and every week. Cheryl has no desire to “develop ally pally” which is run by another company and many of whose producers do not conform to LFM’s rules. She has no “vested interest”. And who are all these people who “don’t want a market” in Crouch End? I only met about four in twelve years of campaigning. When the Green Party was canvassing in Stroud Green, they tell me, every household they interviewed signed the petition for the market. Deborah has over 2,000 signatures on top of a similar number I already had.

"Spreading any more of this negative propaganda"? That's a bit strong, isn't it? I'm 'spreading' my own personal opinion, like everyone else on this forum.

I had a lovely time this morning drinking Wiltshire Special Blend and reading the full nef report, which can be downloaded here. It's very interesting, but I think the two case studies - Ealing and Marylebone - are vastly different to the situation we have here in C.E.

Ealing was a run down high street looking for revitalisation, and I completely agree that FMs are a brilliant way to revitalise a lacklustre high street. But Crouch End as a shopping area is already vital and lustrous; we certainly aren't Ealing.

Marylebone High Street is an example of exactly what I would utterly hate to see Crouch End turn into. It has some interesting shops like Daunt Books and that fabulous cheese shop - I forget what it's called - but it isn't a real working high street in the sense that Crouch End still is. If you want to do serious day-to-day shopping in Marylebone you have to use their Waitrose, unless the market is on. I can see why they invited in a FM - a few years ago Marylebone High Street was verging on the lifeless, and needed the added buzz of a market.

My point is that Crouch End is not lifeless; we are already a 'village', if you want to put it like that. We already have an array of good local independent shops, for whom the FM would provide nothing apart from added competition.

Cheryl Cohen did not mention on this discussion that she works for London Farmer's Markets. I'm also not sure what she meant when she wrote, in her original post, that "I do so hope that Tesco, M&S and Waitrose were subjected to the same scrutiny before they opened." If Tesco, M&S and Waitrose had tried to open a market in the middle of Crouch End, you can bet your life they would have been subject to the same level of scrutiny. Likewise, if London Farmers' Markets wants to open a shop here, there's nothing to stop them.

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