Alcohol licence for town market could be boost for traders

St Ives Market

St Ives Market - Credit: Archant

An alcohol licence held in the name of St Ives Town Council is being considered for the town’s farmers’ market.

Put to a meeting of full council on March 8, the licence would mean stallholders no longer have to pay £21 for a temporary events notice at each market – something which can hit small traders hard.

“In terms of our survey that we did with our traders at the farmers market in general, we found there was a big variation between traders who are doing several markets a month and some who are only doing one or two because they are only small organisations,” Allan Witherick, town clerk, said.

“With the smaller ones, they don’t have the financial capacity to buy a single licence for them-selves which covers all the markets they go to because actually the one at our site is the only one they go to.

“So if you think about profit margins, that’s [a temporary events notice] quite a substantial impact, but they aren’t doing enough to make it worth paying for a single licence covering all of the markets they might go to.”

Mr Witherick also told the chamber that a licence for the council would cost about £500, and that he is willing to take up the role of designated premises supervisor.

Two traders have reportedly come forward to offer sponsorship, which the council hopes will cover the initial costs, including training.

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Mr Witherick added that the licence could have an annual renewal cost of £70, but that this would only be a matter of a few pounds for stallholders to pay on top of their stall space fee.

It’s expected this fee will only increase when training for a new town clerk is needed.

The licence, which was originally discussed on the amenities committee earlier this year, plans to extend as far as The Waits and is an initiative that has already been taken up by other councils, such as St Neots Town Council.

The town clerk also explained that the licence could be used to cover other events in the town where organisers wanted to sell alcohol.

The proposal to apply for the licence was passed by the full council, and will now be looked into by Mr Witherick.