Western Suburbs Weekly - - Front Page - By ROSANNA CAN­DLER

FOUR­TEEN Rokeby Road busi­ness own­ers met last Tues­day to dis­cuss how the Mar­kets on Rokeby two-day road clo­sure had dam­aged their trade, says Bistro Felix di­rec­tor Tony Cariss.

Mr Cariss said mar­ket man­ager Venn Property Group (VPG) and the City of Su­bi­aco needed to ur­gently re­view the lay­out, traf­fic man­age­ment and op­er­at­ing hours of the week­end mar­ket.

He said even more peo­ple were ex­pected to at­tend a sec­ond meet­ing at his restau­rant to­day.

Western Sub­urbs Busi­ness As­so­ci­a­tion pres­i­dent Mark Hann warned the busi­ness com­mu­nity not to “jump on the neg­a­tive band­wagon” be­fore giv­ing Mar­kets on Rokeby time to prove it­self.

“The mar­kets are only in their third week,” Mr Hann said.

“If the large ma­jor­ity of busi­nesses are un­happy, then yes, changes should be made. How­ever, over­rid­ing ev­ery­thing should be tak­ing on this gen­uine at­tempt to bring peo­ple to the town cen­tre.”

VPG di­rec­tor Hadley Mis­sell said the com­plex­ion of the street and mar­ket would change over time.

“We have had di­a­logue with the coun­cil, coun­cil­lors, chief ex­ec­u­tive and mayor since the mar­ket started,” Ms Mis­sell said.

“Th­ese dis­cus­sions are al­ways pos­i­tive on how we can im­prove the mar­kets and work with the re­tail­ers and stall­hold­ers.

“We are in­tro­duc­ing new fresh food with lim­ited hours and a WA de­signer fash­ion of­fer. We are also look­ing at in­tro­duc­ing new tim­ings for the mar­ket.”

Karma In­dian Restau­rant coowner Gaya­gri Sharma said the road clo­sure had in­jured her usu­ally busy week­end din­ner ser­vice.

“Peo­ple don’t know we are open, so no­body comes,” Ms Sharma said.

“On Satur­day, we had two ta­bles of four peo­ple, and usu­ally we get 10-15 ta­bles.

“They take a long time for them to pack up the tents and signs; Rokeby Road did not re­open un­til 7pm on Sun­day.”

Su­bi­aco chief ex­ec­u­tive Don Bur­nett said City staff had in­for­mally met with sev­eral busi­ness own­ers over the past week about the mar­kets.

“Ev­ery­one is of the same opin­ion: we want the mar­kets to be suc­cess­ful,” Mr Bur­nett said.

“There are still some is­sues that need fine­tun­ing and the City and Venn Property Group are work­ing through them.”

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