Traders have issued a rallying call to the people of Spalding to help them in their fight to save the town centre.
Members of the Spalding Town Retailers Association (STRA) are committed to turning around the fortunes of the town and have vowed to do all they can, despite feeling let down by councillors.
Chairman Darren Sutton said: “STRA is committed to seeking solutions to encourage people to our town. But we are all shopkeepers, store owners and business people who have full-time day jobs running our shops.
“Individually, we are not lawyers, nor are we experts on planning laws or marketing, but we believe we deliver employment, services and value to our community.
“If there are marketers, experts, professionals and supporters out there who can volunteer to help us to get things done and challenge our council we would be enormously grateful.”
STRA spoke out last week over frustrations at the way South Holland District Council has behaved towards Springfields.
Traders feel it has failed to enforce a key planning rule that was supposed to prevent Springfields from directly competing with Spalding town centre. The rule was drawn up to protect the town from losing trade but it is widely felt that this is being ignored.
Mr Sutton added: “We want the council to be on our side helping us, not working against us.
“We all pay significant business rates, which are again increasing, and we want to see that this money is being well spent.
“What we want now is the commitment of our council and councillors and the opportunity to work together to get action that will benefit our town centre, our customers and our community.”
STRA wants to establish a steering group of town traders, councillors and other interested parties with a clear mandate to quickly create a deliverable action plan to increase footfall in the town centre, which is widely considered to be in decline.
Mr Sutton added: “SHDC says it is committed to ensuring that our town centre remains the primary retail destination for Spalding. Traders would now like to meet with the council to agree an action to ensure this is truly the case. Action not words is what is required.”
Traders feel that a failure to act now will only serve to add to the string of shops that have been forced to close in recent times. Only last week Revills Jewellers and Spalding Music Services became the latest shops to close their doors.
Anyone interested in supporting the traders in their cause should contact Bookmark on 01775 769231 and ask to speak to Mr Sutton
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