Chichester Lets the Council Know its True Feelings

Posted by Stephen Baker on 24th April 2008

Recently, I asked local consumers and producers to let me know how you felt about the current plans for the Butter Market. I’m pleased to say that the response has been vociferous.

On Tuesday April 22nd, I sent a document to the Observer containing an overview of the key elements of the Baker and Bond proposal and including four of the food producer comments we have recently received. You can download a pdf copy of the document here: Local producers support a Toll Market.

Not only are local consumers and producers obviously unhappy with the current decision - as can be seen in the recent press and in comments on the blog - but I am told that a letter was signed en masse by Chichester residents and sent to the Council in time for the Finance Committee’s last meeting on 1st April 2008. The minutes of this meeting remain as yet unpublished so there’s no way of knowing how the letter was received. However, among other things the letter said:

Chichester City Council has made a serious error of judgement in its choice of development partner for the Butter Market and has underestimated the strength of feeling within the local community.

It finished with this parting shot:

Such an important decision should have been considered fully by the whole council and we ask you to think again before it is too late.

With consumers and small, medium, and larger local food producers all now prepared to air their views independently, I keenly await next week’s Observer article which, I am told, will reveal the full story about how the majority of really do feel about the Council’s choice of development partner.

If I have gauged your feelings correctly and the response is generally negative, it can only be a matter of time before a review process is put in place and Chichester once again has a chance of seeing a Toll Market take its rightful place at the heart of the city for the mutual benefit of local consumers and producers, as well as being a place for the community to enjoy with pride.

Leave your comments: