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Local stores - still top of the shops

July 3, 2003 12:00 AM

The City Council has just published the results of its first ever local shops survey. And the message given by the 3000 + respondents is, "We still love our local shops".

But there are many improvements people want to see  in lighting, litter collection, parking and safety, and their council is prepared to do something about it!

WHAT DOES THE SURVEY TELL US?

Nearly 90 per cent of the respondents use local shops and they are just as popular with young people.. One in five of us uses a local shop EVERY day. It's the little things that count, and most people spend under £10 a visit - for those essentials that only the corner shop can provide. They are good on the Green front too: most people it seems, WALK to their corner shops.

The most popular local shop was the Post Office. "It is a great pity that the Labour Government is determined to close them down", says Cllr Amanda Taylor, Exec Councillor for Property. Both she and her Lib Dem colleagues have seen their campaign to keep the Wulfstan Way PO spurned by the Royal Mail.

COULD DO BETTER?

So what will the council do next? Cllr Taylor gives the following commitments:

  • Improved disabled access. We are already spending £45,000 on this but we will continue to see if we can do more
  • Less Litter - we will be looking at ways to improve litter picking and clearing.
  • Better lighting - we are confident we can make improvements here
  • Better Car parking - we are costing this out especially for Anstey Way, Trumpington and Wulfstan Way
  • Anti-social behaviour - only 9 per cent of residents reported this as a barrier to them using local shops. But we are not complacent and we will be looking at the new mobile CCTV cameras to see if they can be used there
  • Green planting - we will be liaising with other council departments to see how we can do more to make local parades more bike friendly and attractive
  • Top of the Shop Parades - Oscars for the Corner Shops? We will look at giving special awards to those parades who do most to make their shops attractive and pleasant places to be.

According to Cllr Taylor

"Many people are more familiar with the Corner Shop on Coronation Street than their own local shops. But as the high response to the survey shows, they are still a vital community resource for many people - particularly those who can't get about so easily, such as the elderly and disabled.

Those who do use them appreciate the customer care and the all-important personal touch. I have always been a supporter of local shops and the Lib Dems will be doing their best to make sure the Council does what it can to support them.

Our local shops are far from dead - they are alive and well but need more of us to appreciate the very special service they offer in terms of choice and the all-important personal touch. I have long been an advocate and supporter of our local shops...we need to start a mini revolution: WE LOVE OUR LOCAL SHOPS!"