SWINDON Council is to consult on plans to remove the street trading ban in several parts of the town centre to enable markets to go ahead.

In November, InSwindon decided to axe the 2012 Christmas event, planned for Canal Walk, after Swindon Council voted to take enforcement action against another of its markets, in Havelock Square, due to a street trading ban which covers most of the town, except for Wharf Green.

The council’s licensing committee plans to lift the prohibition in some streets later this year to enable markets to take place.

And on Thursday evening the committee approved a list of seven areas to take out to consultation.

The areas are Canal Walk, Wharf Green, Havelock Square, Regent Circus near the Cenotaph, Theatre Square, Fleet Street, and Bridge Street.

The committee’s markets sub-committee originally suggested The Parade as well, but this was removed for now because it is privately owned.

Earlier this year Swindon Council’s licensing committee held a consultation on the idea of removing the ban for markets.

A total of 186 people took part, of which 177 wanted a town centre market. The top locations were Wharf Green and Canal Walk, followed by The Parade.

Overall, a weekly general market, followed by a Christmas Market and weekly food market, were the most popular.

After reviewing the feedback, the markets sub-committee suggested three options: an annual Christmas market, a weekly market with goods that complement those currently being sold in the town centre, and a monthly specialist market with goods related to the theme of the specialist market.

Coun Bob Wright (Lab, Central) said: “It’s a step in the right direction. But my intention is to work towards getting it back to street trading again, not just markets.”

Jack McLeod, of the firm Your Event Organiser, was instrumental in setting up the Havelock Square market, and said he would bring it back if Swindon Council lifted the ban there.

He said: “Havelock Square as a farmers’ market would work. With a farmers’ market on a weekly basis it would work. But as a general market I don’t know because there’s shops – you’ve got Poundland, you’ve got Iceland. They already do what markets are trying to sell.”

Recently, Rebecca Rowland, the office manager at town centre management firm, InSwindon, said that a Christmas market would not go ahead this year because it was too late to start organising and traders would not come to Wharf Green because of low footfall.

Councillors and business groups are now trying to save the market.

Mr McLeod said that if Swindon Council wanted traders to return for a Christmas market at Wharf Green, the town would have to offer something different to towns with already successful festive markets, including Salisbury and Bath.

He said: “I would suggest to them the best way to do that is to bring a ‘Christmas winter wonderland’ in with an ice rink and put in the market as well.”