Grantham Journal letter: Council must do more for retailers

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I would first like to thank David Charles for his efforts on pulling the Grantham Retailers Association (GRA) together.

There were many independent traders there, along with officers of SKDC, brave souls that they were. The attendance was very good, which shows that a large number of Grantham’s independent traders do genuinely care about their town and their customers.

I am not an independent trader but my wife is, and I know from her experiences just how hard it has been over the last five years due to the recession. Just when the green business shoots start to appear, the council start digging up the roads.

Richard Davies made his explanation and excuses for the delays and broadly speaking his points were, in the main, understandable, but that doesn’t mean that they were acceptable, as he was to find out when the floor was opened to questions.

One could physically feel the pure anger of the independent traders who have suffered so much over the years. Firstly, there was the development of Westgate, which saw road closures; secondly, the banking crisis hit everyone and now all these latest roadworks, with yet more road closures.

Based on the reaction of the independent traders, the members of SKDC and the county council and anyone else involved in roadworks should listen to the people of Grantham, not just plough ahead willy-nilly.

Another outcry was that not many people knew about the road closures or the work on Greenwoods Row car park. In this day and age of multi-media technology, people should be swamped with information on what’s going on and not be deafened by the silence from SKDC, who following Wednesday evening’s outpouring of anger, should start by employing a good old town crier!

Another hot topic was free parking. That will never happen when SKDC makes around £800,000 a year from parking fees alone, but why not cheaper parking, pay on exit. Not the usual speech of “We will review it”!

Action, SKDC, speaks much louder than words. I would suggest you start listening to your local independent traders and their customers before the tumbleweed starts rolling down the high street!

Roy Coldham

Peascliffe Drive, Grantham