Unprecedented demand received from the council

The council’s proposal for a 22.5% year- on-year increase in service charge has been challenged as unfair by the traders.

Mark Tate, chairman of the tenants’ association, explains in an interview with the Fresh Produce Journal: “Council wages have been cut by 10% and the unsociable-hours supplement has been cut by 10%, so staff costs alone are costing 20% less, so I don’t understand why the service charge has increased so much.”

Western International Market, owned and managed by the London Borough of Hounslow, is held up as an example of best practice, with a full breakdown on where every pound of the service charge is spent. Tate says:

“What we want is transparency, to show where the service charge is all going, and what it is being spent on. 

“We have approached and are working with a major international investor, alongside a company led by some of the most innovative thinkers on the future of wholesale markets [ Ed: Quarterbridge?].

“I can’t say much more than that at the moment. There is nothing concrete for now with the council, but we have repaired the bridges.”

In October Birmingham city councillors will consider a report prepared by the executive.