Second Saturday market on the cards

The Saturday market in High St, New Norfolk.

A SECOND weekly market in New Norfolk is on the cards following acceptance of the concept of a twilight market at last week’s Derwent Valley Council meeting. The council backed away from outright approval of the new venture but agreed to further discuss it with the proponents.

In a written report, recently-appointed community development officer Kelly Simms recommended that councillors agree to pursue the concept of a twilight market being held on the Derwent Esplanade in New Norfolk, based conditions similar to those for the weekly High St Market.

Deputy mayor Jessica Cosgrove as the operator of the High St Market declared a conflict of interest in the proposal and left the room while the report was considered. The meeting was held in the community meeting room at the Maydena Bike Park, with all councillors except Cr Anne Salt in attendance. Cr Rachel Power declared a potential perceived interest in the market proposal but opted to remain in the room.

Cr Paul Belcher was the first to speak when the report came up for discussion, and he proposed that the market be approved and that the requested operating hours of noon-6pm be approved. Cr Belcher’s motion lapsed when no other councillor was prepared to second it.

Cr Martyn Evans then moved the original recommendation put forward by Ms Simms, seconded by Cr Luke Browning, and this was carried unanimously when put to the vote.

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In her report, Ms Simms – who is also a Glenorchy City Council alderman –  said a community member had approached the council on behalf of a community group with a proposal for a weekly twilight market. “The proposal is to be located at the Esplanade and would operate from 12pm-6pm,” Ms Simms said. “Council officers provided the community group representative with relevant  information relating to the proposal and outlined the likely position of the council at this time.”

Addressing risk implications, Ms Simms said a adding another market “could saturate the overall commercial market for marketplaces within the Derwent Valley municipality.” She said the proposed timeframes overlapped with the already established market and “would be facilitated by council at high risk to the organisation and general community outcomes.”

“When assessing a relevant unsolicited proposal guide for submissions and assessments, it was also noted as not meeting most criteria. This included but was not limited to categories such as uniqueness, value for money, strategic fit with council’s future plans and procurement processes.”

Ms Simms was not present at the council meeting to take questions about her report. In the debate, councillors spoke positively about the concept of another market but questioned whether noon was the right starting time for a twilight market. “I like the concept of a twilight market and my interpretation of ‘twilight’ is probably not from lunchtime onwards, it is probably from 4pm onwards, especially in the peak time of the year when Daylight Savings is about,” Cr Evans said.

“I have seen what the other market has done on a Saturday to invigorate and if we can keep people here for this … if it had different times apart, it could actually attract stallholders from one to the other and they could be there for the whole day.”

Cr Power agreed that the term ‘twilight market’ did not bring a lunchtime start to mind. “Being able to attract people, keep them here longer, that’s what all the messaging is about, the ability to extend that stay and have more to see and more to do,” she said.

Cr Luke Browning said he supported the recommendation, which was just to endorse a concept. “We’re not sure how it looks at the moment, so let’s not get too carried away with things and all the little details, and have a good think about it and a good chat about how to go about it.”

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