The benefits of shopping in Holbeach are to be proven by a district councillor, with the help of Spalding Guardian readers.
Coun Tracey Carter, one of three people chosen to represent the town at last May’s South Holland District Council elections, is encouraging people to help her write a shopping list of goods which can be bought in Holbeach.
I really feel it’s important to show people the wide range of shops we have in the town, as well as the range of products that can be bought hereHolbeach Town ward district councillor Tracey Carter
Negative comments about Holbeach, which Coun Carter says have been posted online regularly on social media sites, have led her to come up with the experiment which aims to promote and support the “array of shops” to be found in the town.
Coun Carter said: “There seems to be nothing but negative comments about Holbeach so I really feel it’s important to show people the wide range of shops we have in the town, as well as the range of products that can be bought here.
“There’s also been an increase in the number of shops that have opened in Holbeach and so I’m inviting people to give a list of things you’d expect to be able to buy in a town and I’ll prove that I can get them here.”
The challenge comes as plans are being finalised for a new partnership between traders and Holbeach Parish Council to form a united voice ahead of a sharp increase in the town’s population over the next ten years.
At a district council planning meeting in December, one of Coun Carter’s colleagues revealed that “over 2,000 new homes” are already in the pipeline for Holbeach.
Coun Paul Foyster, a member for Holbeach Town ward, said: “It is the responsibility of statutory bodies to ensure a satisfactory level of service provision for all residents and this should not impinge on the delivery of housing.
“There are already over 2,000 new homes proposed for Holbeach but without forward planning, prompting and co-ordination, it is unlikely that such services will be ready in time to cope with the huge increases in population that are proposed.”
Ahead of her challenge, Coun Carter admitted traders and shopkeepers in Holbeach faced strong competition from online retailers. “Every small town has the internet and the change in people’s buying habits to compete against, but let’s show people what a shop in Holbeach can do.”
• To take part, email suggestions of what you think should be available to purchase in a town like Holbeach to email@example.com and we will pass them on to Tracey.
Meanwhile, the first meeting of a new partnership to promote Holbeach businesses and its economy is set to be held later this month.
A liaison group of town traders and parish councillors will sit down together at Coubro Chambers, West End, Holbeach, on Monday, February 22, at 6pm.
Parish council chairman Isobel Hutchinson, who came up with the idea of a forum at a meeting last month, said: “I’ve spoken to one or two traders in Holbeach, but anyone with a busines or shop within the area can come along.
“There are issues that need to be addressed but that’s what we’re hoping to look at, along with important things we feel will help the town.
“We’re aiming to put together a hit list of things that we want to achieve and then see what we can do over the next six months.”
Coun Hutchinson also gave her support to a shopping challenge for the people of Holbeach from district councillor Tracey Carter who wants the public’s help with a shopping list of things to buy in the town.
“Anything that promotes Holbeach in a positive way is to be welcomed,” Coun Hutchinson said.”
Could there be a mayor to wear the Holbeach chain?