The market, featuring breads, meats, cheeses, olives along with fashion accessories, had been booked for the weekend of 25-27 July to be held along Southampton Road.
It would have brought in around £1,000 into the council’s coffers and town clerk Steve Nash had hoped the money could have gone towards buying new lights for the town at Christmas.
However, at an extraordinary meeting of the full council, members decided that while the market was a good idea, there were already two events organised for Ringwood that weekend and voted against it. Instead Francophile’s will be delighted to hear that the French traders will be setting up their stalls along Victoria Road in Ferndown on the same dates, 25-27 July.
The Ringwood meeting had been held to get councillors’ approval for the market as Mr Nash had had to book it with short notice, and while the Mayor had thought it was a good idea, members needed to agree before it could ahead.
Councillor Jeremy Heron reflected the feeling of the meeting when he said that he was not against the French Market on principle but was concerned about the clash of dates as the Hampshire Farmers’ Market was being held in The Furlong on Saturday 26 July
Cllr Christine Ford added that the council was trying to promote local producers at the farmers’ market and she felt members would be letting them down if the French market went ahead. She also reminded the council that The Stable Family Trust was also having its summer fayre the same day and argued that too many events would dilute attendance.
She concluded: “I love French markets but this is the wrong weekend.”
Cllr Angela Wiseman disagreed as in her opinion two markets would attract more people in to the town to attend both the markets and the summer fayre.
The council decided the French Market should not be held and Councillor Michael Thierry, who said he was not against the holding of a French market, questioned whether it should have been booked initially without getting full council consent .
Speaking after the meeting, the Mayor, Cllr Barbara Woodifield said: “I was asked for my personal view on holding a French Market by Mr Nash. I said in principle it sounded good to me so long as Mr Morant the Charter Holder was in agreement and that no alcohol was sold as was usual practice. As Mayor, I cannot ratify such action without the approval of the Council. As it transpired from the Extraordinary Full Council meeting, the Council voted against the market as it clashed with two other major events in the town, most importantly the Farmers’ Market, which we are very lucky to have back in Ringwood after four years.”
Meanwhile, Ferndown Town Council and Ferndown Chamber of Commerce are celebrating being able to host the market at short notice along Victoria Road on 25, 26 and 27 July from 9am-6pm.