Page 46 - Market Times June 2021
P. 46

Parliamentary markets
group relaunched with
strong support from MPs
 AS SHOPPERS flock to retail markets after the pandemic has made them well aware of the benefits of buying all things local, traders and operators alike have partnered with politicians to boost the virtues of market shopping.
Because of the pandemic the All-Party Parliamentary Markets Group fell by the wayside after COVID-19 struck the nation — but now it’s back at full strength.
Simon Baynes, Conservative MP for Clywyd South, was elected Chair at the re- launch of the group, first established in 2001.
He said: “As we hopefully come out of this horrendous period in all our lives I can think of no better way to support the nation than by encouraging the UK’s retail markets industry and its traders.”
Simon said he was keen to support both re- tail and outdoor markets because they were “part of our culture and part of our her- itage”.
The relaunch of the All-Party Parliamen- tary Markets Group was supported by a good number of MPs and peers, who took part in an inaugural virtual meeting.
Lord Goddard of Stockport (Liberal Democrat) was elected Deputy Chair, and Vice-Chairs elected were: Peter Gibson MP (Conservative Darlington), Craig Williams MP (Conservative Mont- gomeryshire), Jane Hunt MP (Conserva- tive Loughborough), Pat McFadden MP (Labour Wolverhampton South East), Al- ison Thewlis MP (Scottish National Party Glasgow Central), Craig Whittaker MP (Conservative Calder Valley) and Chi Onwurah MP (Labour Newcastle upon Tyne Central).
“I think it’s great that we have a cross-rep- resentation of parliamentarians in the UK,” Simon said. “Speaking as a Welsh MP I’m always keen that devolved nations are rep- resented.”
Simon was pleased to hear from industry
New APPMG Chair Simon Baynes MP
leaders — Joe Harrison, CEO of the NMTF and David Preston, CEO of NABMA (National Association of British Market Authorities) — about initiatives to breathe new life into markets.
The NMTF has an annual Young Traders Market project, a competition leading to a grand final at Stratford-upon-Avon in War- wickshire at the August bank holiday weekend. NABMA promotes an annual Love Your Local Market campaign.
David Preston told the meeting that NABMA entered the pandemic with a five- point plan for survival. “That really led to some successes, but a lot of frustrations as well with a lot of platitudes coming about how important markets are, but very little practical help,” he said.
Later, on a more positive note, he said markets could be employment incubators to try to fill some of the “high street gaps”. “We’ve done it in the past, a lot of busi- nesses have come up from their start on the markets.,” he added.
Lord Goddard of Stockport is Deputy Chair
“With jobs displaced there’s a huge op- portunity now for start-up businesses fo- cusing on markets.”
Joe Harrison told the meeting that traders had found after the first and subsequent lockdowns there had been positive indica- tions from shoppers that they wanted to support their local traders.
“From our perspective we have also seen a growth in new members as people are starting up new businesses and we can give them the support they need,” he added.
“We do believe markets will play a huge role in the revitalisation and build-back of our town and city centres.”
Vice-Chair Peter Gibson MP commented that markets were “not only part of our culture but an essential part of our town and cities, and give many of them their cen- tral identity.
“It’s not only about buying and selling, it enriches life and it is even more important we look at our culture post-pandemic.”

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