‘No coffee’ rule strangles Leedy’s farmers’ market

RED TAPE and restrictions have probably killed the Leederville farmers’ market.

Vincent city council is insisting the organisers abide by three pages of rules and restrictions, which include, “the market shall not include stalls that sell coffee or hot drinks”.

That’s because the council doesn’t want the market taking business from Oxford Street traders.

The markets had already suffered a blow when the council decided to charge $20,000 a year to rent a carpark for the Sunday morning event (to cover cash lost from fees).

The markets had previously rented private space and organisers had hoped for some relief from teh council to enable more promotion and extra viability.

A bit glum

Operator Paul Ashbolt is a bit glum about how it’s all turning out and says the rent and the list of rules from the council were bad enough but the prohibition of coffee sales pretty much kills the whole thing stone dead.

“I can’t think of any other market in existence where a trading restriction of this sort is placed on it,” he told the Voice.

“Under these circumstances we will be withdrawing the application.”

Other rules stipulate the maximum number of stalls and prohibit buskers from using “inappropriate language, material, etc”.

Mayor John Carey says the rules are there so the markets “complement existing services”.

“In our mind it’s pointless to have a stall selling coffee there when we have so many incredible cafes here.

“That’s an approach we’re leading to in all our festivals and events: complement the existing businesses.”

Mr Carey says it’s hard to understand how a ban on hot drinks could scuttle what’s meant to be a farmers’ market.

The issue is set to be put to the vote at next week’s ordinary council meeting.

by DAVID BELL

895 Sienas 10x2.3895 CAIA 10x3

2 responses to “‘No coffee’ rule strangles Leedy’s farmers’ market

  1. Sad for the stall holders. At least as customers, we have other markets to go to (and have coffee!) One less market to choose from, though. Just don’t close the Luna or it won’t be worth going there, any more! 😦

  2. The coffee rule isnt a new one, it was in their conditions right from the start as a concession to not adversly effect the many cafes in the immediate vicinity, so its not something new imposed by the council. Also as far as having to pay for their space, they are using council facilities, and council are losing revenue while they take up the space, if you look at the council documents they already discounted the charge for what they estimate they will lose in parking revenue. Why should council have to subsidise what is essentially a private business, other businesses have to pay rent for their premises as part of their operating costs and it isnt much different to what they were already paying. It sounds like Mr Ashbolt wants a free ride for his private business.

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