Only now do we see the dire’ situation
PUBLISHED: 15:32 28 June 2007 | UPDATED: 15:08 12 May 2010
I READ with interest The Crow report last week on the town centre: Dying on its feet. After years of media coverage on this problem, it is sad that it is only now that councillors have publicly acknowledged that Royston s town centre is dying on its fee
I READ with interest The Crow report last week on the town centre: Dying on its feet.
After years of media coverage on this problem, it is sad that it is only now that councillors have publicly acknowledged that Royston's town centre is "dying on its feet" and that the town centre is in a "dire situation", and that walking through the town centre is "a depressing experience", and is "a shambles".
What I find astounding with all of these comments from councillors is that nobody has taken responsibility or pointed out who is responsible for the situation.
There does seem to be a correlation with the increase in parking charges to the increase in empty shops, and it doesn't take a genius to see that breaking point in this area has been passed.
Why should shoppers have to pay a charge to the council every time they want to look for a new carpet, go to the cash machine, buy some stationery, or shoes?
The roads have long been paid for and the upkeep covered by council taxes, so any parking revenue can justly be seen as extra taxation.
If extra revenue is needed by the council, then this could easily be found by encouraging more shops to open, thereby generating more Council Tax from thriving businesses, as the council is generating nothing from empty properties. However, if councillors and committee members don't want to take the word of the media, local retailers or me about the current situation, they should get a reality check.
Go to a High Street bank and ask: "Given the history of retail businesses in the town centre over the past few years, would you recommend and invest in a retail business in Royston Town Centre?"
Make no mistake, whatever happens, the responsibility of this shambles lies totally with the councillors as this problem has happened on their watch. The speed and efficiency with which they recover the situation is in their hands alone.
But if they do not react positively and rapidly, they may well be too late and there will be further rise in unoccupied shops.
They and they alone, will have to bear the responsibility for the legacy of a deserted, and possibly vandalised, town centre.
BRIAN K HAUGHEY
THE shopping centre in Royston could be revived in SEVEN days if we all insisted that our councillors announced that the first hour of parking was to be 10 pence.
If we were not slaves to the parking charges it could be free.
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