January 17, 2012 Friends of Leeds Kirkgate Market
At a Council meeting today councillors accused consultants of going beyond their remit in their £12,000 report which sets out dramatic proposals to privatise Kirkgate Market.
The Scrutiny Regeneration Board, who have been putting management of the market under the spotlight, were this morning presented with plans for the future of the market. Produced by Quarterbridge in just a few weeks, the report recommends that the council sign over the market to a Limited Liability Company for a 99 + year lease (memories of the corn exchange?) and despite investing £10m towards its refurbishment, would have to give up any controlling interest in the way that it is run.
Councillors on the board slammed the report which said that investors would only be interested in being involved in the market if they could be free from political influence and take part of the profit made from the rents
Councillors put officers on the spot with difficult questions about what would happen to future profits from the market. Despite the market being run down it still makes a healthy profit for the council which goes back into services for the citizens of Leeds. Neither Cath Follin, Head of City Centre and Markets nor Dave Outram, Chief Officer of the Public Private Partnership Unit were able to respond.
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