Westgate three weeks on

Westgate is an ugly retail development on the edge of Aldershot town centre that is killing the town centre.

Three weeks on, how is it fairing?

The first week, Aldershot dead, the windy plaza more people than in the town centre, Morrison’s packed, more people than you would see in Aldershot in a year.

Since then, Morrison’s not busy, the windy plaza turned into a building site as the paving slabs dug up and relaid, last week awash with water.

Today, the windy plaza neither awash with water nor a building site. The work on the fast food restaurant chains which line the plaza due to open next month appears to have all but stopped.

Morrison’s all but empty. The staff seem no better than Asda, begs the question where do they dredge them up from, but then it is Aldershot.

Morrison’s cafe. No scampi, choose something else, then when something else chosen, told there is scampi.

It was disgusting. They must work really hard to make food this bad. At least there were a few clean tables, which makes a pleasant change.

A woman agitated, aggressive and turning violent. The cafe staff told to call security. They look at each other, anyone know where Steve is? No one does anything. I then spot a gormless looking security guard standing about ten feet away, doing nothing. I tell the cafe staff. They tell me if I am that bothered go and deal with it myself.

This goes on for abut 20-30 minutes whilst I am eating my disgusting scampi and chips (of which I leave half as so disgusting). It appears to be a woman with mental problems and a carer, at one point hands around the throat of carer.

Security guard gets bored watching, wanders off, comes back, then wanders off again. Eventually comes back. Seems more interested in chatting up checkout girl.

People are being endangered, objects thrown around. Finally security guard goes over.

I walk around the store, pick up a few things. I chat to the check out woman. She said she and customers were at risk.

I ask for the manager and tell him what was happening. If the security man could not cope he should have called for help, Police or maybe people who deal with people with mental problems. I said I would fire security guard.

Manager said he would investigate and thanks me. I said if security guard lies, check CCTV and you will see incident and security guard idly standing by.

Something had been thrown, maybe a pot of sauce or mayonnaise. As I left, and this was at least half an hour after the incident, this was still spilt on the floor for anyone to slip on, no attempt had been made to clean up the mess.

Three weeks on, and still no signs from Westgate for the town centre. No sign of leakage, people walking from Westgate into the town centre. The town centre as usual dead.

As I passed through Aldershot on Saturday on my way to Farnham I noticed a few stalls in the street but no idea what for as no publicity. I learnt it had something to do with Christmas lights being turned on.

The developer for The Arcade has lodged an appeal against refusal of planning consent.

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