High street always faced challenges
As a retired food retailer, who spent 40 years at the sharp end of the business, I believe retailing has always been competitive.
Back in the 1960s and 70s, there were really good businesses – and shops that just got by or went out of business. That’s the same today.
The pressure hit the high streets in the 70s when supermarkets opened with their ‘pile it high, sell it cheap’ mentality. But those early stores were uninteresting compared to today’s supermarkets.
In the last 40 years, supermarkets, in a bid to grab a greater slice of the trade, upped their game substantially.
Who would have thought 40 years ago that supermarkets would be open 24/7 and making home deliveries seven days a week?
Nail bars, beauticians and hair salons now out-number butchers 10 to one.
That tells us two things. Firstly there’s no shortage of disposable income, and also that we are still prepared to go to locally-owned businesses on the high street (you cannot get your nails done on the internet).
In the 1980s and 90s, high street shops could offer a service and expertise that supermarkets couldn’t.
The customer was buying into a personal service.
Then supermarkets upped their game and trained staff to be helpful and friendly, as well as providing a better quality product.
When you go to your local shop, you want to be known by your name and treated as a valued customer.
A lot of private businesses do still provide that now, but a lot don’t and therein lies the problem.
Not enough of the private shops have upped their game to make it worthwhile for shoppers to go to them rather than the supermarket or buying on the internet.
Spend our tax on NHS and us first
It beggars belief that there will be tax rises to boost the National Health Service when we are giving £4bn of aid cash to improve roads and railways abroad.
Fixing potholes in India and £265m on new roads in Pakistan - when our own road system is full of potholes and subsidence. What rubs salt in the wounds is that India has a space programme and is spending £10bn on a fleet of warships.
This money would be better spent on the NHS and our own road and rail system before dishing out taxpayers’ cash on other countries.
Jail was no place for honourable men
It was welcome news for anti-fracking campaigners, and democracy, that the three environmental protesters at Plumpton convicted of being a ‘public nuisance’ have been freed from jail after 21 days.
The overly harsh prison sentences of 15 to 16 months (the first jail terms given to environmental protesters since 1932), had an air of bullying about them and jail was no place for peaceful and honourable men who were exercising their right to protest.
Speeding cars also bad for the planet
If protesters are so concerned about fracking’s impact on our environment, why not protest about speeding drivers?
Also, why NOT ask who certified 60mph limits for country roads?
For, haven’t speeding cars destroyed a great deal of green, pleasant and productive farmland? This is not to mention the horses, horse riders, hedgehogs, pheasants, red squirrels, farm labourers, fruit pickers and cyclists being killed!
So, why NOT demand far safer 20mph speed limits?
Doesn’t driving at 60mph heat up planet Earth to much the same degree as our homes would be if the central heating was increased from 20 degrees to (a melting-hot) 60?
Might supporting RoadPeace (the national charity for road crash victims) reduce demand for oil?
Shouldn’t bicycles be mightier than 4x4s, the so-called ‘Kings of the Road’?
People power good for resort’s dogs
Congratulations to Laura Gilmour and her friends, who spent quite a lot of time researching, gathering facts and figures from vets, the Kennel Club, RSPCA and other organisations to present to Blackpool Council before the decisions on the proposed PSPO regarding dog restrictions.
Thank You for all for your devotion and effort in making the council see sense.
Thank you to all those people who took part in the protest walks along the promenade - give yourselves a pat on the back!
People power has now made Blackpool once more a dog friendly place for residents and visitors alike.