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Andrew Griffiths MP ridicules East Staffordshire Borough Council plans to get people in Burton Market Hall

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: August 15, 2014

Comments (18)

PLANS to promote Burton's market hall by having children make posters have been attacked by the town's MP Andrew Griffiths.

The competition asks children to design a poster telling people why they should visit the hall in return for the chance of winning one of three Kandy Factory vouchers.

In a swipe at leader Julian Mott, Mr Griffiths says East Staffordshire Borough Council isn't doing enough to get the market hall up and running.

He said: "Council tax payers have seen a £1.6m investment in the market hall and they will be holding their hands up in despair when they find out that this is the best that the council can come up with to promote it.

"It's becoming a bit of a joke. What we need are tangible plans that will support traders and businesses to get them in to the market hall.

"We can't expect people to shop there if there are hardly any traders inside. It's time for councillor Julian Mott to put down his colouring crayons and come up with some real suggestions."

In response, councillor Mott said: "He's got a hell of a cheek to say that. We won't be taking any lessons from Andrew as it was the Conservative party which he represents that kicked out all of the people running the previous stalls so they were unwelcome.

"As a result, all of the experienced traders have been lost, meaning that the council has had to start from scratch in finding businesses to run the stalls.

"Mr Griffiths should be supporting all efforts made by the ESBC to get people into the market hall, no matter what they may be."

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  • ianpage123  |  August 23 2014, 2:50PM

    Burtonbloke1 sorry I'm not on the council so I'm not if there was a marketing plan etc was in place.. All I care is the fact that Labour council was in power from March 14 the market opened on the 23rd June and we stand he today 23rd August so it been open 2 months and it's still not generating footfall. We'll just have to wait and see after today there's a big push today. But for supplying a FREE bouncy castle but not advertising very well as a example is a waste of money !

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  • burtonbloke1  |  August 23 2014, 1:51PM

    If you read the comment you will see that I am against people scoring points from this episode. Logically, one should be able to assume the outgoing council will have had re-generation plans that the incoming labour councillors could have utilised even in a modified form. Maybe not.

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  • ianpage123  |  August 19 2014, 2:53PM

    Burtonbloke1 I really not interested in pointing fingers who said what / who did what etc... We are he the Market Hall has been redeveloped and been opened 1 months now. Everyone seems to be agreement it's a fantastic space but it's not being used. Footfall is low so that's cause issue for the fix and day traders. What a good idea about college marketing and business students being used to promote it. Let's keep the political stuff to minimum let's focus on the problem and get it solved.

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  • burtonbloke1  |  August 19 2014, 10:40AM

    I seem to recall a resounding silence from Mr. Griffiths when this debacle was unfolding and large numbers of his constituents were protesting about the proposals. I don't suppose the fact that the Tories were at the helm had anything to do with it. This is blatant politicking. There must be some clever marketing and business students in our college who would welcome the project that regenerating the market would be.

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  • mattlong  |  August 17 2014, 6:39PM

    You are certainly right that the town appears to be lacking in vision from the political elites Marlene. In my opinion that's because community advocates and people who have made or attempted to have made a genuine contribution to their town are not encouraged enough to take their place among the ranks of the councillors and elected representatives in town. You are also right that it is the duty of the opposition to question those in power. This being said HOW this is done is paramount. By firing off on Twitter about 'crayoning' this adds nothing to a constructive debate about the perceived failings of the ESBC. There are children in our town who will have been invited to take part in this and however tokenistic it is in terms of 'advertising' the market, the educative value and sense of self esteem they will have gained from such engagement is an important part of their development. It has inadvertently (and I acknowledge certainly not intentionally) been 'dissed'. Once again the issue is about politicians inappropriately using mediated technology. Everyone knows there is a political culture in our town on all sides which flourishes on these kind of vacuous exchanges.

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  • Marlene  |  August 17 2014, 6:23PM

    Burton is a town lacking in vision. I look towards ESBC to provide that. It is the way politics is in our country and the duty of the opposition (MP Andrew Griffiths) to challenge and question those in power - ESBC. I have to say coming up with a colouring competition is a pretty mediocre attempt at solving a serious problem.

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  • mattlong  |  August 17 2014, 10:29AM

    I certainly thought Andrew Griffith's proposal for free rent for a limited period should have been looked at and I believe it has been considered but a decision has been taken not to pursue this option. What I do agree with you about is that changes to website facts and figures are important in this day an age when people increasingly rely on mediated communication. Secondly, you are bang on about the evening events. The idea about the contribution which the new market hall could make to a thriving night time economy was a major factor in selling the change to the existing market hall 2 years ago and yet this seems to have disappeared from the radar in terms of discussions and so on. Many of the traders I spoke to when contributing to a Labour party led survey of stall holders felt the idea of the use of the facility for night time events would be impractical given the logistics of cleaning up and so on.

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  • ianpage123  |  August 16 2014, 3:31PM

    Matt ESBC don't seem to doing very much to promote the Market Hall and I fear for the people that are currently in there. I believe they have reduced the rent further to £10 but it appears they can't even be bothered to change on the website. I would approach the Ebay sellers and Etsy sellers to see if they would be interested in selling in the market hall and offer for FREE for a short period. Because starting a business in a gambling and keep costs low is very important. Get stalls in there and it will create a draw (Build it and they will come) I also not seen anything about evening events yet which was the whole point in the first place. The colouring competition is a start but it's only a start and it's been open nearly 1 month now.. ESBC pull your finger out.

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  • mattlong  |  August 16 2014, 12:24PM

    I am sure Andrew Griffiths is genuinely frustrated at his perception of a lack of activity to publicise the market. This being said I feel its ill judged to make comments on twitter which are then used by the Burton Mail and end up as an article in the Mail. If I were a parent of one of the kids who'd taken the trouble to enter a poster competition I'd be annoyed with the comment about the crayoning. You see that's all Twitter allows for. A quick one liner which doesn't allow for any intellectual discussion on a serious issue. Expect more of this kind of stuff from all local politicians in the lead up to 2015 - believe me they love it.

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  • ianpage123  |  August 16 2014, 11:55AM

    I don't think Andrew Griffiths is having a SWIPE at Julian Mott more a SWIPE at he lack activity to get thing progressing at the Market Hall there are a lot of empty stalls lack, low footfall. What's happening with activity to get new stall owners. Stop playing with peoples lives just get on with it ESBC and sort it. BTW when is the first evening events going to be organised because that was the reason for the redevelopment is the first place ?

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