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Reader's letter: How can Stroud Farmers' Market be pushed out for being a success?

By The Citizen  |  Posted: January 04, 2014

The tender process for Stroud Farmers' Market has been put on hold

Comments (2)

IMAGINE this. You rent a shop and start a clothes business. After 14 years of very hard work your shop is incredibly successful – in fact, it is one of the most successful clothes shops in the UK.

Your landlord, seeing that you are doing well, thinks that he could make a lot more money out of the shop now that it is so successful, so decides to put the shop lease up for tender for “one of the most successful clothes shops in the UK”, in the hope of attracting large offers from other businesses. Luckily for shopkeepers this is illegal under the Landlord and Tenant Act.

Why is the situation with the farmers’ market any different? If the market was a flop, or only an average success, this “tendering” would not be happening. How can I be judged negatively because the market is a success? How have the council worked out that this is a fair way to treat my business? How can I tender for something that is mine? How can it be legal for the council to put the premises that I use to run my business from up to the highest bidder? It is extraordinarily unethical.

The detail of the tender shows also that the new licensee has to basically hand over all information about who, how, where and how much for every market. But this information is Made in Stroud Ltd’s information. It is the information and knowledge we have spent 14 years amassing. In modern parlance, those are the intellectual property rights of Made in Stroud Ltd.

The council requires all this information to be handed over and that information then becomes the IPR of the council!

The sad thing is that when I finally had the meeting at the council – a meeting that I requested – at which they announced their plans for the tender, I was expecting a hefty rent rise. I understand these are hard times for councils. I would have been – and still am – happy to sit down and negotiate a new rental price.

People should know we have been paying a substantial rent for the Cornhill, more than most small shops in Stroud pay, bearing in mind this is for one day out of seven. The council failed to mention that when saying the taxpayer is covering the costs of maintenance and cleaning. I am a Stroud man organising a Stroud market for Stroud people.

Kardien Gerbrands,

Stroud Farmers’ Market

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  • Brynneth  |  January 05 2014, 10:06AM

    I want to know who, specifically at the council put this idea forward. Not all councillors support it, and as we'll be voting for some of them next year, I would really like to know who should be held personally accountable for this shocking mess. Best of luck Gerb, hoping justice and decency prevail.

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  • GlosAnarchy  |  January 04 2014, 9:38PM

    Kardien Gerbrands, you are to be commended and I would tell the Council where to stick their request for your detailed accounts, they can get some from companies house! You built the business up from the ground and they are basically saying that you lease the business from them in the same way as McDondalds do franchises. Next thing they will say that you have to hand over your phone numbers, bank accounts, equipment and staff to any new operator and that you in fact where only managing the market for them using their equipment. Stroud Council should be ashamed of themselves! Kardien Gerbrands said he would run the Gloucester weekly market from January to March as an interim measure. Grenchurch Ltd previously ran the Friday market, but with its tenancy due to expire at the end of December, and no new agreement in place, Grenchurch declined to run the market through the winter months!

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