Agenda item


Any other business which by reason of special circumstances the Chair agrees may be considered as a matter of urgency.


Further to the published agenda the Chair Councillor Vernon agreed an item of urgent business which is an update on Bury Market, it was also agreed this item will be taken first on the agenda.


Councillor Morris, Cabinet Member, Culture, Economy and Skills provided an update to members to provide reassurance and confidence to members. Councillor Morris Cabinet Member, Culture, Economy and Skills wished to place on record thanks for the hard work of Donna Ball, Executive Director of Operations, the Operations service, the Business Growth and Infrastructure service and Jacqui Dennis from a legal perspective.


Members were informed that Bury Council took the decision on Thursday evening to close the indoor market from Friday Morning with the primary concern being the safety of the traders, public and businesses. As soon as the decision was taken the team have worked to relocate and open traders for business. Bury Council recognise it is difficult for traders but the rest of market is open as usual as we still want people to visit and support those stalls still open.


Donna Ball, Executive Director of Operations informed committee that Bury Council was made aware on 26th  November 2023 of the decision at 1:00pm that the structural engineer confirmed that the risk of Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (RAAK) will go to red when earlier it was anticipated it would be amber. Following review it was apparent some panels were in distress and according to the HSE guidance it is very clear what needs to be done. At 5:00pm the same day the market was sealed to all.


Within the market hall there are 62 units with 49 traders/businesses. Following closure of the market hall the experts were able to access the ceiling above the 16 units surrounding the market hall. Following further inspection of all 16 units they were able to open on the Saturday following the Friday closure. Currently 2 of the market hall traders have opted to trade outside on the open market and a further 2 are operating in pop-up stalls in the mill gate square. The market management team have worked with the Millgate to identify 15 vacant units and a further 6 vacant units owned by council. The remaining 21 trader requirements have been collated and the market management team have worked out which will work collaboratively. Pleased that every trader who wishes to be relocated has been found an alternative location. A package of measures has been put in place immediately for the traders and at 4pm each evening a briefing note goes out to all traders. The briefing includes support available including access to a hardship fund, GM hub counselling support, GM hub provision providing cash flow support or debtors advice. Bury Council has reached an agreement that rent and utility bills stop so traders do not need to worry about these costs and further discussions are still on going.


Members were informed if they are contacted with Bury Market queries they should be directed to the Markets Team or Donna Ball, Executive Director of Operations.


Members sought assurances on when notification could be given. Members were informed that Thursday showed a potential of amber rating which quickly changed to red on the same day and so no earlier action could have been taken.


A member questioned about signage for trade relocation. Members were informed the market team will support this


Members were advised financial loss cannot be given as a figure currently. Rent and service charges, traders have been asked to go to their insurance companies regarding any loss of earnings. Members were advised that re-housed traders will not pay any more than currently paying now for the first 3 months. 


Members sought assurances if we know if other buildings may be effected. Members were informed that the potential of RACC in buildings has been focused on school premises and theses have shown to have no issues. We are now looking wider and this is how Bury Market has been identified. Procurement is currently taking place to ensure no further buildings have it. There is a 20 year time frame and we are also looking 5 years before and after.


Members made reference to the accelerated land disposal scheme and buildings that have been identified to be investigated.


It was agreed:


1.    Councillor Morris, Cabinet Member, Culture, Economy and Skills and Donna Ball, Executive Director, Operations be thanked for their work and update.