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Kick up the rear
9:40am Tuesday 28th February 2012 in Letters
OVER 15 years ago I was invited to become Chairman of Great Malvern Traders Association (GMAT).
I accepted only on the understanding I remained a-political – a situation which continues to this day. This letter is written in a non-personal or party political vein to protest at the proposed new charges ready to be imposed on Great Malvern Town Centre.
How amazing this is to be imposed on Great Malvern only. The frightening and insidious part of this proposal is these increases not only relate to this year but are envisaged for 2013 as well.
GMAT has been and is seeking to have a balanced dialogue with Malvern Hills councillors but as yet we can see no positive outcome.
To date my fellow traders, led by Anna Brook and Chris Marks have received nothing but quasi politicallycorrect answers.
If there were doubt in anyone’s mind as to the effect of free parking, one need look no further than the Retail Park on a quiet Tuesday, where most of the car parking spaces are filled by 10.15am.
Perhaps a significant factor here is the management of the park see fit to provide car parking spaces for both workers and shoppers alike.
Could it be that the councillors might come into the 21st century and adopt a similarly enlightened strategy.
GMAT has been campaigning for better use of brownfield sites within Malvern for 10 years. So come on councillors, let’s take a leaf out of a tiny market town like Leominster where town centre car parking is free for up to three hours.
Or like Totnes in Devon you could install ‘pop and shop’ meters which charge 20p per half-hour or 60p for one hour.
Discuss with us, then adopt a truly innovative solution, instead of milking the easy option.
Trade in Malvern is hard won in any case due to it’s topography, we are in the middle of the worst recession in most people’s memory, businesses are closing by the day and Malvern is not immune to these forces.
Do remember that we are your customers – traders and citizens alike – we provide your revenue .
Finally, remember in very recent times the public toilet debacle was primarily responsible for a political change in the town. At that time a wise council leader instructed me: “If we get too big for our boots again just put your own on and give us a kick up the backside – we’ll probably deserve it”.
Consider it done!
Chairman of GMAT