Published: November 25, 2010
Burnham councillors consider cutting funding to farmers markets

Fresh produce on sale at Burnham's Farmers' Market

Town councillors have this week considered cutting their grant funding to Burnham-On-Sea's monthly farmers markets.

At a meeting last night (Wednesday, November 25th), they discussed whether to reduce the annual £1,200 grant that enables the events in Burnham High Street to be held on the final Friday of each month.

Cllr Dennis Davey said: "I do question whether we should be funding these markets when our rate-paying shops, such as bakers and greengrocers, say they are losing out as a result."

Cllr Ken Smout added: "The town council is currently being asked by the district council to take over the running of various key services, so some reductions to grants like this may need to be considered."

However, Cllr Neville Jones warned that losing the monthly farmers markets could potentially harm Burnham's chances of proceeding with the proposed partial pedestrianisation of the town's High Street.

He explained: "The farmers markets are one of several key community events we'd like to hold in the pedestrianised area and if they are not there, the plans would be harmed. Are we really saying we don't want the markets?"

After some debate, councillors decided to consult further with the Civic Pride team and Burnham's Chamber of Trade. A final decision will be made at December's full town council meeting.

If the funding were cut or reduced, it could place the future of the markets in jeopardy.


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