“Farmers’ Market must go ahead next month” – Swinson

Jo has called on East Dunbartonshire Council to take swift action to ensure that Milngavie Farmers’ Market can go ahead in June.

Stallholders were prevented from trading on Wednesday after a dispute over licensing brought the monthly market to a halt.

Milngavie Farmers’ Market has been run for the past two years by Renfrewshire Farmers’ Market Co-operative, who stepped in after the previous organisers went bankrupt. It has been run without a licence, by agreement with East Dunbartonshire Council, however the council decided in January to make it a requirement to have a licence to run the market.

Stallholders were informed last week that a licence had been granted to Fayre Events, a company run by Mr. James Dobbie. Renfrewshire Farmers’ Market Co-operative say they were not informed that a licence would be required or invited to apply for one. Many stallholders reacted with surprise and dismay, saying they will not work with Fayre Events and pointing to formal complaints they have made against Mr. Dobbie in the past. East Dunbartonshire Council say that it followed procedure by advertising the licence requirement in local papers and on signs in the area, but Renfrewshire Farmers’ Market Co-operative say they were not aware of this because they are not local to Milngavie.

Commenting, Jo said:

“Milngavie Farmers’ Market is a much-loved part of life in Milngavie, and what happened there this month was unacceptable. It is extremely important that the Council acts quickly to make sure that the future of the market is secured.

“I have spoken to a group of the stallholders from Renfrewshire Farmers’ Market Co-operative, Fayre Events and several Council officials about the matter. This is a complicated dispute and it is not yet clear how it will be resolved, but the Council must step in and mediate to ensure that the market can go ahead on the first Wednesday in June.

“If the Council cannot reconcile Fayre Events and the stallholders, then they must ensure that the regular stallholders, who have been attending the market for years, can resume trading there in June, even if it means issuing an interim licence. For the market to be cancelled for another month would be disappointing to customers, a great loss to stallholders and could jeopardise the future success of the Milngavie Farmers’ Market.”

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