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Arrangement of Clauses (Contents)

Hereford Markets Bill [HL]
 

EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM

This Bill is promoted by the County of Herefordshire District Council (“the Council”).

The Bill concerns the markets in the city of Hereford (“the city”), which include a livestock market and a general market, both now held at a market site off New Market Street, a general market held in the Butter Market, High Town, and a monthly farmers' market, held in High Town.

Traditionally, the livestock market is held on Wednesdays, with an open stalls market being held on the same site on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Further markets are held at this site throughout the week including occasional specialist market days. The general market in the Butter Market is open daily except on Sundays and consists of a covered permanent stalls market.

The right to hold these markets arises by virtue of a Royal Charter granted by Elizabeth I in 1597 and the operation of these markets is now governed by certain local legislation as well as more general public legislation. These powers enable the Council to relocate the markets but only within certain former local authority boundaries.

The Bill has two purposes—

(1) to enable the relocation of any of the markets anywhere within the Council's district rather than simply within the old city boundaries; and

(2) to replace with modern provisions the existing local legislation governing the market.

The location, condition and physical constraints of the existing market site off New Market Street, together with the application of modern regulatory requirements, render that site ill-suited for the purposes of the livestock market. The livestock market still however serves an important local need and the Council therefore wishes to relocate the market within its district. A site for the relocation of the livestock market has yet to be determined but the optimum site is likely to be outside the city boundaries. The chosen site and any relocation will be subject to local planning and other procedures. A redevelopment of the New Market Street site, which would only be possible if the livestock market is relocated, would also facilitate the proper planning and redevelopment of the city centre.

Clause 1 gives a short title for the intended Act and provides for it to come into force three months after enactment.

Clause 2 contains definitions of terms used in the Bill.

Clause 3 provides for the markets to continue to be vested in the Council and contains replacement provisions for the management and regulation of the markets. These include provision for the application of Part III of the Food Act 1984 which contains a modern code for markets established or acquired by local authorities including provision as to market days and hours and as to charges and their payment and recovery, for prohibiting certain sales outside the market during market hours, for the provision and use of weighing machines, for the provision of cold stores, requiring the giving of certain information to market officers and for the making of market byelaws. The clause also contains express provision enabling the Council to provide and maintain the markets and associated market places, market houses, buildings and facilities, to let its rights to hold the markets and to compound market tolls.

Clause 4 would enable the Council to relocate the markets within the district but not within the monopoly areas of any of the other markets in the district. Provision is included for prior consultation with market traders and other affected interests.

Clause 5 provides for the repeal of existing local market legislation which is set out in the Schedule to the Bill and comprises provisions contained in the Hereford Improvement Acts 1854 and 1871, the Hereford Order 1927 and the Hereford Corporation Act 1936.

EUROPEAN CONVENTION ON HUMAN RIGHTS

The County Secretary and Solicitor to the Council has made the following statement on behalf of the Council:

In my view, the provisions of the Hereford Markets Bill are compatible with the Convention Rights.


 
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Prepared 20 January 2003