It’s time to do something now

PUBLISHED: 14:06 18 October 2007 | UPDATED: 15:17 12 May 2010

I OWN commercial property in both Royston and Saffron Walden – and the contrast is marked. The latter is a busy town with many varied shops offering much to the consumer. Why is this? Although it does have a Waitrose in the town centre, it also has an o

I OWN commercial property in both Royston and Saffron Walden - and the contrast is marked.

The latter is a busy town with many varied shops offering much to the consumer. Why is this?

Although it does have a Waitrose in the town centre, it also has an out-of-town Tesco and Homebase.

Surely the catchment areas are similar with the same social profile? Saffron Walden is more difficult to access from the villages than Royston, but does have a large car park close to the market place.

Then, Royston has three main car parks a minute or two away from the centre. So why does one have more and more empty shops unable to find tenants than the other?

After all, Royston has had more people move in recently with far more new houses being built in the town, than in its neighbours.

Do we have enough control over our own future and does North Herts District Council care enough about Royston to really try to reverse this decline?

Is it a coincidence that their offices are many miles to the west in a different area, whereas Uttlesford District Council is based in Saffron Walden?

I do no not know the answer, but our town councillors should.

Get business rates reduced. Get parking charges reduced (free for two days a week?) Get professional outside advice. But do something. Now. Rome is burning while you fiddle.

Royston is dying as a shopping centre and will soon just be a dormitory. Is that what we want?

STUART FINDLAY

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