Auctions could help Spilsby’s market

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AUCTIONS could revitalise Spilsby market by creating a more interesting experience for visitors and encouraging additional stall holders to trade, according to town councillors.

Two auctioneers have expressed an interest in holding auctions at the town’s Monday market, which councillors discussed at the latest Spilsby town Council meeting at the Franklin Hall on Thursday.

Speaking after the meeting the Mayor of Spilsby Coun Michael Lenton said: “We need to ask the question how we can entice people in because the population of Spilsby alone is not enough to sustain the market.

“In my view auctions are the way in which we can do that.

“It creates interest and that’s a historical fact because when we have had them in the past we used to get more visitors and more stall holders.”

The auctioneers who had contacted the town council with their proposal currently hold regular auctions at Boston market - a market which Coun Lenton feels to be successful.

Suggestion to reintroduce auctions at the market had also been raised by members of the public at the council’s stand during the Spilsby show.

The councillors were supportive of the proposals but raised some concerns about the rates that auctioneers have to pay East Lindsey District Council for holding their stall at the market.

Previous auctioneers stopped holding auctions several years ago because ELDC would not let them hold it for free and they were unwilling to pay for the additional stalls required to host it.

Coun Julia Pears said: “It is too expensive for four pitches, they should get one cost instead of charging for four separate pitches.”

Coun Lenton explained that several traders he had spoken with did not object to auctioneers being offered free rates so long as the products they were auctioning were not similar to the produce they were trading.

He also said the auctioneers were not adverse to the idea of paying rates.

Their only issue was with securing a contract with a farmer to ensure they had regular produce for sale as they felt they could not rely solely on the public to bring their own items for sale.

Councillors were also upset about comments made by Coun Neil Cooper at an ELDC meeting regarding markets.

He claimed that ELDC’s plans to transfer operation of the markets throughout the district to town councils to reduce running costs had failed because town councils “failed to engage in meaningful discussions.”

Coun Lenton said this was untrue and has vowed to raise the issue with Coun Cooper to ascertain where the misinformation had come from.