Statement from Melton Parish Council regarding Melton Car Boot Sales

Melton Parish Council does not run the Melton Car Boot Sales and at no point has Melton Parish Council given notice to the organisers of the 2024 car boot sales to cancel. This was their decision.

At the Full Council meeting in October 2023, the Council reviewed the proposed dates for the 2024 Car Boot Sales. Concern was raised about the numbers attending the car boot sales in recent years. It was agreed to approve the dates in line with the ongoing contract for 5 dates. It was also agreed to set a limit for the number of sellers and reverse the layout so the parked cars were away from the football pitches in line with other events in the park.

This was in response to complaints about the size of the boot sale, the congestion it causes in the area and the state of the grass which needs addressing.

The office was asked to contact the organisers for stallholder numbers from the 2023 car boot sales so a limit could be agreed. The organisers provided the figures for stalls and stated they were between 40-60 in 2023. Based on this information and considering the concerns, a limit of 50 was set. The organisers were informed in November 2023.

In January 2024, the organisers objected to all requirements. In early February, a meeting was set up with 3 councillors and the organisers to discuss what might be possible.

At that meeting and at the February Full Council meeting the organisers stated they could not apply any limit to the number of sellers. They stated that they were unable to control the cars coming in/out of the car park and had no room on their adverts to add in a reference to the limit.

The car boot sale organisers are only charged £1 per year for the use of the Recreation Ground. There were no increases proposed for the hire of the field in 2024.

The organisers have never stated that they cannot run the car boot sales on a limit of 50 sellers because of their running costs. No accounts have been provided at any point to confirm the money received or their expenses incurred. We have only ever been told that they donated around £40k over the years, on average £1k per year, to charities from the proceeds of the sales.

Organisers made the decision that they would not be running the car boot sales in April 2024 – the decision was given verbally to the Assistant Clerk in the office.

We are equally as disappointed that the organisers have decided to cancel what was a popular event. As a village Car Boot Sale, it needed to be better controlled so that the Recreation Ground, as a valuable asset, could be protected and improved going forward.

We hope that at some point, another village sale might be established, but it must remain within the limits of what can be readily accommodated within the Recreation Ground.