Supporting the Local Shops

Last week I commented that I had heard a rumour that Sainsbury were to open in Southchurch, that has now been confirmed along with 25 new jobs in the store. However, we must applaud the views of Ashby’s Butchers, they are right, local shops will benefit from more trade if the larger stores pull more shoppers to an area, but only if the local stores develop their unique selling point and adapt to the competition. It’s all to easy to complain rather than get on and do it, well done Ashby’s.

Southchurch Road seems to be on the up, I do not know if the takings reflect this, but over the past few years the shops have smartened up, the range has improved and generally it feels more alive, the new homes that have gone in along with the street improvements have hopefully given it a boost too. 

Although I get much of my main shop in the larger supermarkets I do support smaller shops in the town, but perhaps not enough year round.  So I for one shall make a point of shopping at Ashby’s Butchers as well as the other smaller traders I already support about the town. After all if we want to keep them we must use them and for those that cannot access the edge of town supermarkets they are essential.

2 responses to “Supporting the Local Shops

  1. I have been trading as a shop keeper in southchurch road ( west of porters) since 1999 on that time Sbc has not spent a penny on improving the road apart from 2 recent cameras, I have seen a steady decline in the quality of shops around me, most of which are fast food outlets . this section of southchurch road is a main route into town and it needs improving , Christmas lights new paving slabs and street lighting please

    • Mark, When I was portfolio holder for highways I brought forward a renewal pogramme for the side streets off the High Street with a view to regenerting them and making them attractive places for smaller business and for residents. I got a face lift on Alexandra Street done, though the trees are still to go in. Alexandra St had been done (poorly in my view) just before I took over and I got Clifftown Rd and Elmer Approach done. We did them inhouse and at a very sensible price compared to using consultants, landscapers etc. When I did the last Highways budget I had funding in place for the next batch of streets, but now its not my portfolio so I do not know what is happening.
      With specific regard to Southchurch Road, I have regularly objected to the increase in takeawys and the creep of the ‘clinics’ which in my opinion are not helpful to the vitality of the street. Also as portfolio holder for highways I supported a new multi stoery on the corner by the underpass, this would have increased the footfall along the road, but again I do not know where the current portfolio holder is with this. As for Southchurch Road street improvements I got as far as Bournemouth Park Road with the decluttering, new street lamps and general smartening. Personally I think Southchurch Road from the underpass to the High street needs a fairly major make over, not dissimilar the Elmer Approach but with traffic and improved parking. I will discuss this with the Director to see if I can get any thinking underway again though clearly any action would be subject to funding, maybe a two stage appoach over a few years? I don’t know but will have a conversation. I also think we could take a long hardlook at the Tesco plan and see what traffc circulation they are suggesting as if they are increasing the traffic in Southchurch Road then I would argue that they should be contributing to improving it- you never know I will take a look.Anna

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