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Committee to discuss service charge review at Moor Market

Front exterior shot of Moor Market, Sheffield
Moor Market, Sheffield

Proposed plans to increase service charges for traders at the Moor Market will be considered by councillors next week.

Service charges paid by traders to the Council to cover building running costs such as electricity, gas, water, cleaning, security, maintenance, and support costs haven’t been increased for 10 years.

This means that as inflation and worldwide energy tariffs have pushed prices higher the Council is under recovering its costs at the Moor Market. In 20/21 that amounted to just under £500,000, with the Council recovering just over 65% of its costs.

The committee will be asked to approve the recommendation to increase the current service charge to the midpoint between current charge and full cost recovery and, if approved, the increase would not take place for 12 weeks. This would see service charges increase by 26.5% in 2024/25 for traders.

Councillor Joe Otten, Chair of Waste and Street Scene Committee at Sheffield City Council, said: “The committee will be asked to decide what is appropriate in the circumstances we are working with. It will be a matter of judgement for committee members to strike a balance between recovering costs and supporting traders.

“From the discussions we’ve had with traders we know they are already feeling the impact of increased energy and other price rises in goods and services.

“The Council highly values the Moor Market and its important role in providing goods and services at reasonable prices for our residents. Since the height of the Covid pandemic, markets are returning to being thriving and vibrant places to shop, eat and socialise and the Moor Market is a good example of this. Occupancy rates there are currently 9% higher than the national average and we want to see those levels rise. We want to continue to see a sustainable and thriving Moor Market.”

The Committee report recognises that it’s very likely that increases in costs would be passed onto customers in many cases and if the recommendation is approved to increase service charges the situation will need monitoring closely to consider and, where possible, mitigate actual impacts.