A COMMITTEE of town and district councillors agreed to look into paying £10,000 to an independent company for work it carried out “in good faith.”

A meeting of the Dorchester markets joint committee received a report from market operators Ensors & Son Ltd.

In the report the company’s managing partner, Brendon George, said: “Ensors & Son Ltd were rather disappointed with the decision not to take up the proposed improvements to the market which are desperately needed.

“We spent five years on plans and negotiations with various different officers, only to be let down at the final hurdle.

“In total Ensors & Son Ltd have spent over £20,000 on professional and planning fees which has now come to nothing. We therefore feel that it is only fair that the council split these costs with us and make a refund to us for £10,000 accordingly.”

The report also stated that urgent work is needed in the market as it looks tired and uncared for and the North Linnies should either be demolished or repaired and a planning application should be submitted.

Vice Chair of the joint committee, Cllr Molly Rennie, said: “We have got to work with this organisation and continue working with them.

“We as a market panel encouraged them to go and look at improving the market. They went away and did the work. They did what we asked them to do.

“There is no agreement to share the costs but this is not a formal request. We have a moral obligation and this is part of partnership working. It is built on trust.”

Councillor Trevor Jones OBE said: “Clearly we have got to see some evidence that they have spent this money but, in good faith, they did explore how to improve the Fairfield market so we do have a moral responsibility. We have eight years left on the lease so it is in our interests.”

The committee suggested it would be writing to Ensors to ask them for some documentation and some bills to see how much they have spent. The recommendation was passed unanimously and will now go to West Dorset District Council.