Newark Advertiser letter: Little chance of shop profits
So, Newark and Sherwood District Council, along with several other councils, are objecting to the Downtown shopping area, because they say it will hit town centre shopping.
Haven’t these councillors grasped that not just towns are dying but city centres as well?
Why? Reason one is the rise of online shopping and this shows no sign of slowing down.
It is the changing attitude of a modern population who cannot be bothered to go out and shop, walking almost every yard of their day with their smartphones in their hands.
But there is another reason why, and that is greedy councils who, along with landlords/property owners, are pricing businesses out of business.
Looking at the Advertiser property section, there is a business property for sale on Sherwood Avenue, which brings in rentals of almost £33,000 per annum.
Another is listed in an estate agents’ window at £13,000 per annum for a small retail unit.
On top of this is the costs to the council(s) of business rates, as well as lighting, heating, staff, insurance, etc.
In a small town like Newark, it is almost impossible to make a reasonable profit.
I remember a now closed shop, where the owner once said: “if I did not own the property I could not afford to trade”.
Couple this with the horrendous traffic problems we have, lots of which is caused by the station level crossing, but also parking costs and restrictions, plus a not very convenient bus service when you have done a full week’s shop.
Drive into town to any of the supermarkets and fortunately you get a two-hour free parking window.
If you have a full shop you will have used up half that period, so how much can one do to keep alive the rest of town with the one hour you have left?
The town centre will suffer more when the Marks and Spencer Food Hall opens on Northgate.
Having been brought up in a small business family I feel for all business, trying to succeed and make a even half-decent profit.
From the government down to the lowest parish, officials living in ivory towers should remember it is better to have 10% of something than 100% of nothing. — Brian Clark, Balderton.