Posts Tagged ‘Aldershot town centre retailers meeting’

Aldershot town centre retailers meeting

March 26, 2013
Westgate ugly eyesore on edge of Victorian town centre

Westgate ugly eyesore on edge of Victorian town centre

hands off The Arcade

hands off The Arcade

A meeting was called by the council of retailers in Aldershot.

They were told, the ugly Westgate development on the edge of Aldershot town centre was good for Aldershot.

This statement was met with incredulity by the retailers present.

What is the footfall, one asked. 200,000 was the reply.

200,000 an hour, a day, a week, a month, a year, a lifetime? It was not said.

The chain fast food eateries in Westgate are either not very busy or all but empty. But, every meal eaten in one of these eateries, is a meal not eaten in the town centre, not that Aldershot has anywhere worth eating. Every pound spent in these eateries is a pound drained out of the local economy, a pound not recycled within the local economy.

Westgate, or Waste Gate as many retailers are now calling it, has been an unmitigated disaster for Aldershot, it is laying waste to the town. It is as welcome as a hole in the head.

The week it opened, the Thursday street market saw their worst ever trading day.

Retailers are seeing takings down. One retailer saw one day when they only took a few pounds.

Jerome have been in businesses for 90 years. They keep detailed records. They have seen their worse ever two weeks in nearly a century.

A French restaurant, now closed, has been one of the first casualties.

Plans to trash The Arcade are making a dire situation worse. The first act of a new developer was to kick out the small retailers.

This is what is called consultation, the council tells the retailers what is best for the town and ignores the retailers and the local community. Not satisfied with having destroyed Farnborough, the council is determined to destroy Aldershot. Decades of bad town planing by a dysfunctional if not corrupt council has laid waste to Aldershot, a council that gets into bed with developers and Big Businesses, to the detriment of the town.

Survey after survey shows people do not want High Street chain stores, they want individual quirky shops, they want real choice, they want character.

North Laine in Brighton is always busy.

Sincil Street in Lincoln is always busy, and yet the City Council wants to see most of it destroyed for a soulless shopping centre.

Market Rasen, a small Lincolnshire market town, has managed to turn itself around by focussing on small shops, local traders, local community.

And yet in Farnborough, Firgrove Parade, about all that remains of small retailers in the town centre, is earmarked for destruction, The Tumbledown Dick, a c 1720s coaching inn is earmarked for destruction for an unwanted Drive-Thru McDonald’s. The council has refused to meet with the local community on these issues, and yet is happy to meet with developers and McDonald’s

The question everyone is asking: Why is the local council in the pocket of Big Businesses and developers and not acting for the local community and local businesses?

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