Monday, January 11, 2010

What do you think of Lewisham's markets?

The Council's Sustainable Development Committee, which I chair, is undertaking a review of Lewisham's markets and would welcome feedback from local residents on what they think of them.

This week I have a series of meetings with market traders to get their input, and we will be holding a couple of stalls at markets to get customer feedback. There is also an online survey that you can complete on the Lewisham Council website.

We're keen to get feedback on both the street markets and farmers' markets - what you think works well, anything that you think is missing or could be done better, what would encourage you to use them more often etc.


rp said...

I think the less interference from the Council the better.

Anonymous said...

Lewisham, Deptford and Catford markets are currently managed in-house by Council staff, rather than outsourced. Are you suggesting that you'd like them to be managed by a private contractor, simply not managed at all, or just that you're happy with them as they are?

Michael Abrahams said...

I would like to see more markets particularly for fresh produce in other parts of the borough, including weekend markets and farmers markets.

I'm not going to travel to Catford or Lewisham when I can walk to Sainsburys or park for free at Savacentre (or get them to deliver).

Markets are great for offering local produce, competitive prices, and greater choice than supermarkets, but they need to be where people shop. To create sustainable communities markets and other facilities need to be close to district town centres, not just in the main hubs in Lewisham.

I would encourage the council to set up indoor markets in large vacant units in town centres. This could be an important part of town centre regeneration.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Michael. Have you also sent these comments via the online survey? Do you have a particular large retail unit in mind? Catford Centre has an indoor market where Woolworths once was, so it can be done . . .

Michael Abrahams said...

The online survey is useless as it is a survey of existing users of existing markets. The questions do not apply to the vast majority of Lewisham residents who do not use the few markets we have. So I have not responded using this survey.

There is a Woolworths closed in Downham and there is either the post office or Blockbusters in Forest Hill. There is also the old post office sorting office in Sydenham. I suspect there are many other suitable sites in other disrict town centres.

Els Kitchen said...

I agree with Michael about the survey being aimed at existing users of existing markets. I went in to comment, but found it difficult to as the options were too focussed on the three big markets in the borough, which I rarely use.

I'd like to see a greater variety of markets in different areas (including craft and food markets). The farmer's markets are difficult to support on a regular (e.g. weekly) basis as they only operate on a once-a-month basis in the local parks.

Specialist or themed event markets are great and attract a wider audience from outside of the borough as well as bringing like-minded people from the community together. The fine food markets in Cornmill Gardens have been very good.

What happened to the French markets? I haven't seen these advertised for a while.