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Save Grayshott Market

This petition had 243 supporters

Grayshott Market started in 2014 and quickly developed a reputation as one of the best of its kind in South-East England. It regularly attracted hundreds of people, from the locality, and from further afield. The stallholders came from far and wide. The increased footfall generated by the market offered the local shopkeepers the opportunity to showcase their businesses in a positive light. The stallholders were committed to the market and it brought their wares to the attention of the market-goers.

The square is owned by Grayshott Parish Council (GPC). The market organisers applied to GPC for licences to run seven markets in 2016. These would be on Saturday, the day that would bring the most footfall. The application was discussed at the GPC meeting on 15th February 2016.

A few Grayshott retailers objected to the granting of these licences, stating that they were losing a substantial amounts of business on market days. GPC councillors voted 3 for and 3 against the licences being granted. The chairman made the call that licences would not be granted for the market in 2016. He did not want GPC to be seen 'harming' local businesses. In my view businesses need to sustain themselves in all sorts of trading conditions. They were not prepared to change the way they did business and this is a major vulnerability. In my opinion the GPC decision did not consider the good that had been achieved by the market sufficiently. Amongst the good points were:

·      It attracted hundreds of people to the village, not just locally but from further afield.

·      It gave local shopkeepers the opportunity to showcase and increase their businesses.

·      It enhanced Grayshott’s reputation as a place to visit and enjoy.

·      It provided a great meeting place for people visiting the market.

·      It provided the opportunity for people to try food and drink that would otherwise not be available locally.

·      It enabled stallholders to display and sell their goods and, in some cases, improve their businesses elsewhere.

·      It provided a venue for local clubs and charities to raise visitors’ awareness of their goals in order to raise funds.

·      It earned money to fund local projects.

·      It was run by volunteers on a pro bono basis which highlights the ‘Grayshott Spirit’.

This petition requests that GPC review the good aspects of the market and as, I believe, the decision made was unbalanced.

I spoke to a lot of stallholders, the organisers and market-goers and they were full of praise for the market. It was another great Grayshott asset and it deserves to continue as it truly adds value to the village.

We, the undersigned, petition Grayshott Parish Council to reconsider its decision not to grant licences for a market in the village square for 2016.

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