Market row sparks review of street use

The Oxford Times: City council leader Bob Price City council leader Bob Price

THE rules which dictate what events can be held in one of Oxford’s main streets are being reviewed.

Oxford City Council leader Bob Price said the council was consulting Broad Street businesses on the issue following a row over staging a Christmas market there.

In September last year, the council refused permission for the Oxford Christmas Market to be held in Broad Street instead of Oxford Castle, where it had been held for the previous three years.

Some Broad Street businesses argued it would harm their trade, but the decision angered Christmas market stallholders who claimed there was not enough passing trade at Oxford Castle.

Market organiser Nicole Rahimi, from Iffley, collected a petition of more than 1,200 signatures calling for the market to be held in Broad Street, which was submitted to the council.

Mr Price said there was an agreement years ago between businesses in Broad Street, Oxford University colleges, covered market traders and the council that would regulate when, where and how long events go on for.

He said: “The group behind the Christmas market made the decision not to commit to it.

“We are reviewing the criteria. That will carry on for the next two or three months and we will hopefully have something in place by April or May.”

He added: “The review was happening anyway. The city council’s events team have aspirations for doing more things around the city centre.”

Mr Price refused to provide examples of the type of criteria the group was reviewing, but said an event’s length and the period of time Broad Street would be closed to traffic was one of the main considerations when granting permission.

He said the review could pave the way for the Christmas market to be held in Broad Street in the future, adding: “Nothing is impossible.”

Zool Verjee, from Blackwell’s Bookshop in Broad Street, said: “From our point of view, the more events – of all kinds – that happen in Broad Street the better.

“We don’t find that it’s an impediment to trade, since people who enjoy the goings-on in this street will often then pop in and enjoy what our bookshops have to offer.”

Frank Smith, store operations manager for Boswells in Broad Street, said he was supportive of events that brought extra footfall to the street, but added: “As long as it is something that compliments what we have as opposed to something that competes with us.”

A variety of events have previously been held in Broad Street from markets to charity events and on Sunday a community market was held in conjunction with the Oxford Climate Forum, featured left.

Mr Price said this one-day market was different from the Christmas market, which would have been two and a half weeks, because of the length of time and added: “We have had a lot of one-day events and they easily meet the criteria.

“It is the longer ones that are difficult.”

Comments (14)

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12:27pm Wed 30 Jan 13

Sid Hunt says...

“As long as it is something that compliments what we have as opposed to something that competes with us.”

I suspect he actually said 'complement'
“As long as it is something that compliments what we have as opposed to something that competes with us.” I suspect he actually said 'complement' Sid Hunt
  • Score: -1

12:59pm Wed 30 Jan 13

Andrew:Oxford says...

As long as it always goes to the highest bidder.

Leasing a major city centre street should benefit the residents of Oxford.
As long as it always goes to the highest bidder. Leasing a major city centre street should benefit the residents of Oxford. Andrew:Oxford
  • Score: 0

1:57pm Wed 30 Jan 13

online_reader says...

It doesn't help that the Christmas Market at the Castle advertises that it's open all day when in fact hardly any of the stalls bother until the evening. It's a long walk out there thinking you'll be able to get some glüwein and bratwurst for lunch only to discover the only offering is someone selling balls of wool. I never bothered to go again after that. I'm sure there would be more custom and more reason to open the booths for longer in Broad Street.
It doesn't help that the Christmas Market at the Castle advertises that it's open all day when in fact hardly any of the stalls bother until the evening. It's a long walk out there thinking you'll be able to get some glüwein and bratwurst for lunch only to discover the only offering is someone selling balls of wool. I never bothered to go again after that. I'm sure there would be more custom and more reason to open the booths for longer in Broad Street. online_reader
  • Score: 0

2:53pm Wed 30 Jan 13

davidrnewman says...

We should have to market in St. Giles. All the traffic in that street can be moved into two lanes, releasing space for a year round market and lots of public events.
We should have to market in St. Giles. All the traffic in that street can be moved into two lanes, releasing space for a year round market and lots of public events. davidrnewman
  • Score: 0

3:30pm Wed 30 Jan 13

xjohnx says...

Hear Hear to the St Giles suggestion.

It has a history of public use, not much in the way of business which might suffer and is lined very few private dwellings.
Hear Hear to the St Giles suggestion. It has a history of public use, not much in the way of business which might suffer and is lined very few private dwellings. xjohnx
  • Score: 0

4:54pm Wed 30 Jan 13

BartSimpson_ox says...

Explain how you move two way traffic into one lane???
Explain how you move two way traffic into one lane??? BartSimpson_ox
  • Score: 0

5:11pm Wed 30 Jan 13

Grunden Skip says...

davidrnewman wrote:
We should have to market in St. Giles. All the traffic in that street can be moved into two lanes, releasing space for a year round market and lots of public events.
Actually they should close St Giles 24/7, there is a perfectly good route in Walton Street for the traffic to go Down. And while we are at it close Banbury Road Summertown and we can have Cafes all over the road, and the nasty cars can use Woodstock road, and the same East of the Bridge, where Cowley road could become a pedestrian Utopia, with smelly dirty cars consigned to Iffley Road. A well thought out idea David. It would also be a good idea to pedestrianise Cornmarket Street between 10am and 6pm.
[quote][p][bold]davidrnewman[/bold] wrote: We should have to market in St. Giles. All the traffic in that street can be moved into two lanes, releasing space for a year round market and lots of public events.[/p][/quote]Actually they should close St Giles 24/7, there is a perfectly good route in Walton Street for the traffic to go Down. And while we are at it close Banbury Road Summertown and we can have Cafes all over the road, and the nasty cars can use Woodstock road, and the same East of the Bridge, where Cowley road could become a pedestrian Utopia, with smelly dirty cars consigned to Iffley Road. A well thought out idea David. It would also be a good idea to pedestrianise Cornmarket Street between 10am and 6pm. Grunden Skip
  • Score: 0

6:34pm Wed 30 Jan 13

xjohnx says...

Grunden Skip wrote:
davidrnewman wrote:
We should have to market in St. Giles. All the traffic in that street can be moved into two lanes, releasing space for a year round market and lots of public events.
Actually they should close St Giles 24/7, there is a perfectly good route in Walton Street for the traffic to go Down. And while we are at it close Banbury Road Summertown and we can have Cafes all over the road, and the nasty cars can use Woodstock road, and the same East of the Bridge, where Cowley road could become a pedestrian Utopia, with smelly dirty cars consigned to Iffley Road. A well thought out idea David. It would also be a good idea to pedestrianise Cornmarket Street between 10am and 6pm.
Like the idea!!

Mind you it would be good if you stopped being sarky and had an honest idea instead.
[quote][p][bold]Grunden Skip[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]davidrnewman[/bold] wrote: We should have to market in St. Giles. All the traffic in that street can be moved into two lanes, releasing space for a year round market and lots of public events.[/p][/quote]Actually they should close St Giles 24/7, there is a perfectly good route in Walton Street for the traffic to go Down. And while we are at it close Banbury Road Summertown and we can have Cafes all over the road, and the nasty cars can use Woodstock road, and the same East of the Bridge, where Cowley road could become a pedestrian Utopia, with smelly dirty cars consigned to Iffley Road. A well thought out idea David. It would also be a good idea to pedestrianise Cornmarket Street between 10am and 6pm.[/p][/quote]Like the idea!! Mind you it would be good if you stopped being sarky and had an honest idea instead. xjohnx
  • Score: 0

7:05pm Wed 30 Jan 13

joy324 says...

online_reader wrote:
It doesn't help that the Christmas Market at the Castle advertises that it's open all day when in fact hardly any of the stalls bother until the evening. It's a long walk out there thinking you'll be able to get some glüwein and bratwurst for lunch only to discover the only offering is someone selling balls of wool. I never bothered to go again after that. I'm sure there would be more custom and more reason to open the booths for longer in Broad Street.
Not only is the Castle out of the way, but once there you had to find your way around to all stalls as they were placed in different locations. Believe me, there was a fantastic Bratwurst stall, but I assume you didn't make it there and just saw one part of the market. One more reason to have it in a proper central location with everything together.
[quote][p][bold]online_reader[/bold] wrote: It doesn't help that the Christmas Market at the Castle advertises that it's open all day when in fact hardly any of the stalls bother until the evening. It's a long walk out there thinking you'll be able to get some glüwein and bratwurst for lunch only to discover the only offering is someone selling balls of wool. I never bothered to go again after that. I'm sure there would be more custom and more reason to open the booths for longer in Broad Street.[/p][/quote]Not only is the Castle out of the way, but once there you had to find your way around to all stalls as they were placed in different locations. Believe me, there was a fantastic Bratwurst stall, but I assume you didn't make it there and just saw one part of the market. One more reason to have it in a proper central location with everything together. joy324
  • Score: 0

9:15pm Wed 30 Jan 13

Andrew:Oxford says...

online_reader wrote:
It doesn't help that the Christmas Market at the Castle advertises that it's open all day when in fact hardly any of the stalls bother until the evening. It's a long walk out there thinking you'll be able to get some glüwein and bratwurst for lunch only to discover the only offering is someone selling balls of wool. I never bothered to go again after that. I'm sure there would be more custom and more reason to open the booths for longer in Broad Street.
A long walk from where?

There is no single part of Oxford City that takes longer than an hour to walk to from Cornmarket...

A market at Broad Street will be a longer walk from the Marks & Spencer foodhall (the natural centre of most uk cities) than the market stalls at the Castle.
[quote][p][bold]online_reader[/bold] wrote: It doesn't help that the Christmas Market at the Castle advertises that it's open all day when in fact hardly any of the stalls bother until the evening. It's a long walk out there thinking you'll be able to get some glüwein and bratwurst for lunch only to discover the only offering is someone selling balls of wool. I never bothered to go again after that. I'm sure there would be more custom and more reason to open the booths for longer in Broad Street.[/p][/quote]A long walk from where? There is no single part of Oxford City that takes longer than an hour to walk to from Cornmarket... A market at Broad Street will be a longer walk from the Marks & Spencer foodhall (the natural centre of most uk cities) than the market stalls at the Castle. Andrew:Oxford
  • Score: 0

2:27pm Thu 31 Jan 13

Grunden Skip says...

xjohnx wrote:
Grunden Skip wrote:
davidrnewman wrote:
We should have to market in St. Giles. All the traffic in that street can be moved into two lanes, releasing space for a year round market and lots of public events.
Actually they should close St Giles 24/7, there is a perfectly good route in Walton Street for the traffic to go Down. And while we are at it close Banbury Road Summertown and we can have Cafes all over the road, and the nasty cars can use Woodstock road, and the same East of the Bridge, where Cowley road could become a pedestrian Utopia, with smelly dirty cars consigned to Iffley Road. A well thought out idea David. It would also be a good idea to pedestrianise Cornmarket Street between 10am and 6pm.
Like the idea!!

Mind you it would be good if you stopped being sarky and had an honest idea instead.
Honest idea. Leave the main thoroughfare through Oxford alone, either David's comment was made to illicit my type of response, or he really has not got a clue. Broad St is the ideal location for this and other markets due to it being closed as a through route. But the stalls need to be laid out so as not to leave the permanent shop frontages obscured, and left with the back of the stalls putting their rubbish by their doors. If the stalls were laid out with the trade side in the centre of the road backing eachother, and the retail side facing the shops, then both lots of traders would benefit as the markets customers would be on the shops doorstep and vice-versa. Now that is not only an honest idea, but one that would solve the main problem.
[quote][p][bold]xjohnx[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Grunden Skip[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]davidrnewman[/bold] wrote: We should have to market in St. Giles. All the traffic in that street can be moved into two lanes, releasing space for a year round market and lots of public events.[/p][/quote]Actually they should close St Giles 24/7, there is a perfectly good route in Walton Street for the traffic to go Down. And while we are at it close Banbury Road Summertown and we can have Cafes all over the road, and the nasty cars can use Woodstock road, and the same East of the Bridge, where Cowley road could become a pedestrian Utopia, with smelly dirty cars consigned to Iffley Road. A well thought out idea David. It would also be a good idea to pedestrianise Cornmarket Street between 10am and 6pm.[/p][/quote]Like the idea!! Mind you it would be good if you stopped being sarky and had an honest idea instead.[/p][/quote]Honest idea. Leave the main thoroughfare through Oxford alone, either David's comment was made to illicit my type of response, or he really has not got a clue. Broad St is the ideal location for this and other markets due to it being closed as a through route. But the stalls need to be laid out so as not to leave the permanent shop frontages obscured, and left with the back of the stalls putting their rubbish by their doors. If the stalls were laid out with the trade side in the centre of the road backing eachother, and the retail side facing the shops, then both lots of traders would benefit as the markets customers would be on the shops doorstep and vice-versa. Now that is not only an honest idea, but one that would solve the main problem. Grunden Skip
  • Score: 0

1:07am Tue 26 Feb 13

Cardinal Fang says...

If you go to almost any town with an Xmas market you notice it's always busy with lots of visitors coming from outside specifically.

Surely that's exactly the kind of thing the Council would want to encourage - non-Oxford people coming here and spending their cash.

The small out of the way rag-tag Xmas market just doesn't have the same draw as a decent one in Broad Street would.
If you go to almost any town with an Xmas market you notice it's always busy with lots of visitors coming from outside specifically. Surely that's exactly the kind of thing the Council would want to encourage - non-Oxford people coming here and spending their cash. The small out of the way rag-tag Xmas market just doesn't have the same draw as a decent one in Broad Street would. Cardinal Fang
  • Score: 0

12:24pm Tue 26 Feb 13

ex trader says...

Sid Hunt wrote:
“As long as it is something that compliments what we have as opposed to something that competes with us.”

I suspect he actually said 'complement'
as a responsible retailer. you should familirise yourself with the competition act 1998 chapter 1, article 101. chapter II, arcticle 102.
the enterprise act 2002 also is in play here.

You cannot and shouldnt dictate or have a voice on the grounds of other traders, temporary or not competing with your own business. competition is good for business and the economy.
[quote][p][bold]Sid Hunt[/bold] wrote: “As long as it is something that compliments what we have as opposed to something that competes with us.” I suspect he actually said 'complement'[/p][/quote]as a responsible retailer. you should familirise yourself with the competition act 1998 chapter 1, article 101. chapter II, arcticle 102. the enterprise act 2002 also is in play here. You cannot and shouldnt dictate or have a voice on the grounds of other traders, temporary or not competing with your own business. competition is good for business and the economy. ex trader
  • Score: 2

1:04pm Tue 26 Feb 13

ex trader says...

As an ex-trader at Oxford christmas market i have read the posts against this article. I worked the market at the castle 4 years ago, and invested a considerable amount of money in two double cabins. It was VERY clear that the council were NOT behind the event.
Despite the weather I personaly stayed open within the trading hours even though there was a total lack of interest from the people of Oxford. the footfall was amongst the worse I have experienced in twenty years of trading.
the local shopkeepers who seem to be oposed to the move to Broad street should study the competitions act 1998 chapters 1, article 101 and chapters 2, arcticle 102, as should the local councilors that seem to be sitting on the sidelines. it is against the act to damage, restrict or limit trade on the grounds of competition.
I havent worked the market since and would not consider doing so again, the council seem to be the ones that have overall say, and I dont think they appreciate the commitment it needs to hold such an event. the residents of Oxford don't deserve such an event because they haven't got behind it in the past.
As an ex-trader at Oxford christmas market i have read the posts against this article. I worked the market at the castle 4 years ago, and invested a considerable amount of money in two double cabins. It was VERY clear that the council were NOT behind the event. Despite the weather I personaly stayed open within the trading hours even though there was a total lack of interest from the people of Oxford. the footfall was amongst the worse I have experienced in twenty years of trading. the local shopkeepers who seem to be oposed to the move to Broad street should study the competitions act 1998 chapters 1, article 101 and chapters 2, arcticle 102, as should the local councilors that seem to be sitting on the sidelines. it is against the act to damage, restrict or limit trade on the grounds of competition. I havent worked the market since and would not consider doing so again, the council seem to be the ones that have overall say, and I dont think they appreciate the commitment it needs to hold such an event. the residents of Oxford don't deserve such an event because they haven't got behind it in the past. ex trader
  • Score: 3

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