High Streets Minister, MP Jake Berry welcomed around 80 guests to the Terrace at Westminster at the annual All Party Parliamentary Reception hosted by the NMTF and NABMA on Tuesday 15th May.
The annual gathering provides a platform for talking to politicians and raising the challenges facing local authorities and private operators delivering successful markets. This year the focus of the event was on NABMA’s annual Love Your Local Markets campaign, the NMTF’s National Youth Market and concern about the impact of VAT on market lettings.
The Minister began by thanking MP, Jim Fitzpatrick for his support for markets and in raising the importance of the role markets play at the heart of our communities.
He was pleased to see that a number of his parliamentary colleagues had been able to attend the event and stressed the importance of markets engaging with Members and talking to them about how they can support their local market.
Praising the three local markets in his own constituency: Darwen, Rawtenstall and Bacup he laid out a challenge to fellow MPs to take time out during LYLM to do what he has done in the past and try their hand at working on a market stall where their literacy and numeracy skills would be challenged.
He said that people choose to visit markets and high streets because of the experience you get when visiting a local trader and that although the retail environment has changed, people are still human. He said he was hugely optimistic about markets the heart of our market town.
To demonstrate the level of his support he explained that on the eve of a Royal Wedding capturing much media attention, he revealed that for his wedding earlier in the month, he had bought his rings from a stall at Darwen Market.
He also expressed the importance of encouraging the next generation of market traders and wished everyone taking part in the NMTF National Youth Market awards the best of luck.
Jake wished everyone a fantastic Love Your Local Market campaign and hoped that by working together we will continue to highlight the hugely positive effect of markets at the heart of our communities, towns and cities.
Speaking at the launch, NABMA President Chris Rosling Josephs said, ‘Markets play an important role in our communities and with the public wanting the best value for their money, many are rediscovering the great value and quality they can get from their local market. And if Love Your Local Market: Close To Your Heart campaign can raise awareness and encourage more people to use markets then it is worth all the effort by operators and stall holders.’
Pictured are: President of NABMA, Cllr Chris Rosling Joseph, High Streets’ Minister MP Jake Berry, President-Elect of NABMA Cllr Geraldine Carter and President-Elect of NMTF Michael Nicholson