This afternoon, Monday 6 July marlborough.news received the following letter signed by the Conservative Unitary County Councillors representing three of the four divisions in the Marlborough area. They call for a compromise to be found that will ensure both safety for all concerned whilst satisfying all parties – residents, traders and visitors alike:
In response to the very genuine concerns expressed by the people of Marlborough and the surrounding villages concerning the proposed blanket closure of all the free parking spaces in Marlborough High Street, your three Conservative Unitary Councillors have been working hard to try and find an acceptable compromise.
We understand that the Town Council had pedestrian safety in mind when voting to ask Wiltshire Council to make these all encompassing parking changes and a desire to try and help local cafes and restaurants in these difficult trading times. However we feel that ALL traders, especially our wonderful local and unique independents, need and deserve to be helped to recover from the effects of the Pandemic.
The people of Marlborough and the surrounding villages have always relied on being able to use these free parking spaces whether it be to pop into the chemist, bank, building society, book, handbag, cook or wool shop. Free 30 minute parking is an integral part of the enjoyment and convenience of shopping in Marlborough and without it we fear that many people would no longer make Marlborough their shopping destination of choice. We need to offer a range of parking options to support and encourage the widest range of people. We must do everything to ensure our High Street thrives.
We have spoken with traders, shoppers, visitors and Officers from Wiltshire Council and we are convinced that a compromise must and can be found that will satisfy everyone. Following these talks, we have the support of Wiltshire Council and therefore call on the Town Council to reconsider their request to Wiltshire Council and join with us in agreeing that only parking spaces outside cafes and restaurants that want to place tables and chairs on the pavement be pedestrianised and that free parking spaces outside all other shops will remain in place.
Cllr. James Sheppard – Ramsbury and Aldbourne
Cllr. Jane Davies – West Selkley
Cllr. Stewart Dobson – Marlborough East