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Supermarket Debate
Written by John Eager   
Tuesday, 13 December 2011 13:07

The long awaited and much anticipated -

Mary Portas: High Street Review

Last Updated on Tuesday, 17 January 2012 11:53
 
Comments (2)
High Street Review
2 Wednesday, 14 December 2011 16:54
roger hughes
From what I have read and heard about the Mary Portas Review, the onus for change appears to be on councils and businesses.
I do believe it is also up to each individual shopper to support our local independent shops in the High Street. Ledbury High Street was voted by B.B.C. listeners to be in the top four favourite High Streets in the country.
High Street Review
1 Tuesday, 13 December 2011 14:06
Michael Lever
At my suggestion, Ledbury Portal has provided the link and I recommend reading the Mary Portas review in full, rather than rely on media reports. [Pages 42-43 should I suggest be compulsory reading for every local trader in Ledbury.] Also, on the same page as the MP link, there's a link to another report: "Understanding High Street Performance", also worth reading, albeit more technical.

In 2005, I won a prize for my essay on the "Future of Town Centres and retailing" in a competition sponsored by Marks and Spencer. I tackled the subject at essential level and in the light of the MP report I am going to update my essay when I have time. Some of MP's recommendations could be workable but on balance I doubt many if any will be put into action, at least not without a good deal of Government funding. (Interesting MP recommends a National Market Day when in Ledbury the Council has difficulty in attracting enough market traders!)

The main difficulty, as I see it, is the ongoing underlying conflict between socialism and capitalism, as personified in the difference between the public sector and the private sector's objectives and raison d'etre as applied in town centres. Reconcile those objectives or at least get some consensus and you have the recipe for moving forward in a positive way.

In the context of Ledbury, Tesco/Sainsbury's etc, the effect of the conflict is apparent in the division of views and opinions of the merits or otherwise of the application(s) and Ledbury's "High Street."

Contrary to any such thinking, I have no desire to watch Ledbury Town Centre decline, or to be in any way influential or instrumental - the last time Ledbury declined was at the end of 18th century when Ledbury’s era of outstanding prosperity based on the manufacture of woollens had gone and Ledbury reverted to a quiet rural market town. However, unlike those that seem to think one or the other, I believe it is possible to have the best of both worlds: a supermarket out-of-town and a thriving Town Centre. To that goal I am setting my sights.