“TRAM works are killing our town!”
A councillor has made an impassioned plea to town hall bosses to help her regenerate Cleveleys.
At a meeting of Wyre Council, Labour councillor Penny Martin called for cabinet members to support ‘her town’.
The Cleveleys Park ward member said shop traders were suffering, there are too many charity shops and the tram works were “killing” the Wyre seaside town.
She added: “Unless we do something now to help and support Cleveleys it will be a very expensive job somewhere down the line.
“I want to know what the council plans to do to support my town and suggest it would be appropriate for a task group to look at the problems in the town.”
In recent months, similar pleas have been made to the council to back Poulton, where councillors had concerns over trade and cleanliness.
Economy portfolio holder, Coun Gordon McCann said improvements to Cleveleys bus station would help the struggling town and hopefully lead to further revamps.
He said: “We are improving the transport system into and across Cleveleys which will benefit the area in the coming months.
“I have got to agree there has been an increase in charity shops across the borough, not just in our area but in other towns and cities.
“However I hadn’t noticed there were a lot in Cleveleys.”
But Val Bradford, of the Cancer Research UK shop, on Victoria Road West, Cleveleys, said even charity shops are struggling.
She added: “I don’t think people realise how heart breaking it has been for businesses in the town, charity shops or otherwise.
“This month there have been another two or three ‘to let’ signs going up, the tram works are killing us.
“No-one can get to us to drop off donations so we are desperate for stock.
“It has certainly been a trying time and the town does need some support.”
Martin Hunns, chair of Cleveleys Chamber of Trade, echoed Mrs Bradford’s concerns.
He said: “I have said for the past few months the upheaval in the town will destroy it and it has done, I don’t think certain shops will recover.
“We have tried to stay positive, thinking about the future, when the trams return, but it is increasingly difficult – especially when the tram works completion date is moved further and further away.”
It is expected the trams will be up and running between Blackpool and Fleetwood by Easter next year.