I reply to the letter sent by Margie Jackson of 22 July about the High Street closure.
I would be delighted to have a chat about why we wished to keep the High Street open on Saturday until 5.30 pm, which was at the request of a petition signed by 90 traders—not exactly ”the small number of traders” as quoted by Nick Fogg!
We all fully support the Jazz event and it must stay.
In Henley, during their recent music festival that goes on all week and attracts daily crowds of over 10,000, they close the High Street from 5 to 9 p.m. and never is the Health and Safety issue raised on grounds of public safety. They are very conscious of helping the traders continue their business during the day in these very hard economic times.
Compared to the normal busy Saturday in Marlborough High Street, the morning was dead, the flow of traffic on the A4 was chaotic, as it was all round the town, market traders were down over 50% and the shops on the day lost over £140,000 in business.
The free performance from the marquise band stand in question is most welcomed, but all that is needed is to relocate it off New Road and have the road left open during the day.
I have been trading in Marlborough for over 25 years and never has business for many of the small private traders been so tough. They are not scrooges, and all year round many of us help support charitable events in Marlborough and District, which I might add most multiples do not, as many readers well know.
They simply cannot afford the unnecessary closure on their prime trading day of the week.
Yet another private shop is about to close and with the ever increasing number of Charity shops now opening in our town maybe another is about to follow! Is this what Marlborough wants?
Please listen to us; Wiltshire Council have, and they have agreed to hold with all the relevant parties a post event meeting to resolve the outstanding issues and find a positive way forward.
I am one of the four who speak for the traders.
Details are on Wiltshire Council memo HT-07-15.
I look forward to meeting up for a coffee.
David Dudley Jeweller Ltd
113 High Street