COUNCILLORS have voted to press ahead with a controversial markets deal which has been described as a “raw deal” for Mexborough.
Mexborough First councillor Bev Chapman said she was “gutted” by the decision of Doncaster Council’s overview and scrutiny management committee to kick out a “call-in” protesting against the link-up with private firm Market Asset Management.
Cllr Chapman and her colleagues had questioned the tiny proportion of investment allocated to Mexborough’s markets under the £6.2 million, 25-year deal when compared to the potential influx to Doncaster’s facilities.
The council later revealed it had almost £400,000 of its own money allocated for improvements in Mexborough.
Following Tuesday’s meeting, where discussions where held in a closed session from which the public and press were excluded, Cllr Chapman said she still had reservations about Market Asset Management, which had a mixed history of running markets elsewhere.
She added: “The number of councillors who were present at the meeting just shows how much concern there is over this.
“We have found a lot out about this company, we just couldn’t convince the committee that our concerns were for the good of Doncaster.
“I would love to be proved wrong and the markets thrive, but time will tell.”
Cllr Chapman said Mexborough’s potential investment was “a drop in the ocean” compared to Doncaster’s, while party colleague Cllr Sean Gibbons said he felt the MAM deal was “a desperation deal” as the council was keen to avoid losing money on the markets.
The council’s cabinet member for highways, street scene and trading, Cllr Joe Blackham, said the arrangement would make the markets “a vibrant destination for shopping, eating out, entertainment and business”.
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