|Victoria and Sophie on the Apolitical campaign trail in Newbury|
Charter market today with Eilish Cooling.
I wrote the following letter to the Newbury Weekly News on 8th April, the Editor didn’t publish it for reasons best known herself… but I thought I’d share it here.
Charter Market why wait?
The Charter Market is shrinking. Some traders will pack up soon for good and they do not want their children following them into third generation businesses. The supermarkets and on-line shopping have rendered the traditional market obsolete.
However, talking to the traders on Saturday, I was delighted to find that there is a great sense of buzz and hope which is being frustrated by excessive customer parking charges and a lack of acceptance by the Town Council that the dynamic of the town has shifted north away from the Market Square.
I talked to Michelle and Jessie. Michelle makes and sells handcrafted jewellery. She had been allocated a pitch facing the Hatchet. It was her second visit to Newbury and was very downhearted to have taken just £8 that morning.
Jessie has had her cupcake stall for about a year and a half. When her pitch was moved from Nat West to Bartholomew Street her takings doubled, and she was able to buy a shop in Swindon, but her Newbury stall is the powerhouse of her business.
Both enterprising young women are offering unique handmade products which sell themselves - if only the customer can see them! There is footfall at the top end of Bartholomew Street but Northbrook Street was positively awash with shoppers in the sunshine. There is already planning permission for 6 pitches in Northbrook Street – why are they not let?
I went back to tell Michelle of Jessie’s story and Michelle’s going to stick with it in the hopes that we can make Newbury Town Council wake up and make those pitches available – sooner rather than later.
Apolitical Candidate for Victoria Ward
(We like cupcakes!)