L2 – What powers can I use to operate a market?

It is vitally important that every market operator is clear about the powers they use to hold a market. This can include a royal charter / letters patent/ prescription / loss grant / local legislation and Part III of the Food Act 1984. While many markets enjoy the benefit of a royal charter, which can add status to the market, it is important that a market operator using the provisions of a royal charter understands how the provisions of the royal charter affect the market. There are occasions when the royal charter can be restrictive in how the market operates, for example, limiting the market to a particular day of the week. If these restrictions exist or if there is uncertainty about the provisions of the royal charter then a local authority market operator should look to use the provisions of Part III of the Food Act 1984. This is a modern statutory framework for the operation of markets and provides powers to deal with all the main issues affecting markets. There is no reason why a royal charter cannot be used alongside Part III of the Food Act 1984 provided there is clarity on how the respective powers are to be applied. It should be a public statement setting out the powers under which the market operates so those affected by the market are clear about the basis upon which it operates.

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