New trading rules for the Bullring
WEXFORD Borough Council is introducing changes to trading arrangements in the Bullring Market Place with licences being issued on a monthly basis instead of yearly.
Traders were previously paying €1,000 a year for a stand but, for the next few months, they will be asked to pay from €160 to €200 a month, depending on the number of weeks in each month.
The monthly licences are part of a pilot scheme designed to improve the attractiveness of the Bullring as a market place for traders. Licences will be issued on a first-come first-served basis.
After Cllr George Lawlor (Labour) pointed out that this would mean an unfair doubling of fees for the few existing traders who have been keeping the market going, director of services Adrian Doyle suggested a system whereby when someone has paid €1,000, he gets the rest of the year free.
'I don't think you should be penalising the people who have stood by the market. You should be rewarding them,' said Cllr Lawlor.
The new short-term licence is being introduced to encourage more traders to set up stalls in the Bullring where people have previously taken up annual licences which they didn't use very much, resulting in empty spaces for much of the year.
When councillors complained at a meeting on Monday night that the new licence is for two days and not seven, Adrian Doyle responded by reminding them that there was no one using it during the week.
'It is a complete, utter, total failure,' he said, adding that if people are happy with the way it is, it could be left like that.
Cllr Danny Forde (Green Party) said the new licence fee represented a quadruple increase as the previous licence was for seven days and the monthly one is for two days a week only.
Cllr Fergie Kehoe (Fianna Fáil) said Wexford Farmers' Market, which opens on a Friday morning at SuperValu car park, should be persuaded to use the Bullring.
The council will consider organising a Christmas market following the trial period of the new arrangements, which were adopted by a majority of councillors, with Cllr Forde abstaining from the vote, saying the lack of business in the Bullring wasn't going to be solved so easily.