IN choosing a commercial bid to take over Hereford's Butter Market, in preference to our not-for-profit community-run approach, we hope that Herefordshire Council will not have missed an opportunity to engage directly with the electorate. (Butter Market future secure – Hereford Times June 25) While understanding the attraction of being able to help balance its books, there is the question over the extent to which the council will have met its obligations under the Localism Act of 2011 which is designed to place community empowerment at the heart of everything it does.

Food for Growth was a community interest company seeking to restore and run the Butter Market as a community enterprise. Our members include locally based business and food experts who are committed to supporting the existing Butter Market traders and the wider food and drink business which remains the county’s principal industry.

Our vision incorporated a dynamic, welcoming and exciting market hall, with flexible spaces that could be used for street food, performance, pop-up stands as well as providing an environment that would suit current traders.

The council expressed support and enthusiasm for the vision and ambition behind the Food for Growth bid when narrowing the choice to a shortlist of two.

While we are naturally disappointed that this encouragement and support has not translated to a successful outcome, we hope that the Butter Market continues to thrive as a landmark at the heart of the city’s business community and that community remains at the heart of this iconic landmark.

JO HILDITCH Chairman, Food for Growth CIC (farmer and Cassis producer) Other signatories – Martin Orbach (ice-cream maker, and Abergavenny Food Festival founder), Bill Sewell (All Saints Café), Glenn Jones (Discover Parks), Clive Boultbee-Brooks (commercial property developer), Mo Burns (food policy adviser), Nick Read (Bulmer Foundation), Peter Norton (sustainable food consultant), Andrew Thorman (former executive editor, Countryfile)