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Brentwood's Independent Traders Unite

July 5, 2009 10:00 PM
CHARGES: Nigel Clarke is against the car parking charges increase. Picture by Martin Dalton

Nigel Clarke campaigning against the car parking charges hike

Action to help improve local trade by Lib Dem Activist Nigel Clarke has been welcomed by Lib Dem Group Leader, Cllr David Kendall.

Many traders are reporting that trade has dropped dramatically, especially on Saturdays, since the High Street improvements commenced on the town.

Nigel, owner of "The Hair Company" in Crown Street, has been a major force in getting the Conservative administration to change their minds on weekend car parking at the Town Hall via a petition and started a poster campaign about the parking charge increases. Recently, he organised and chaired a meeting of the town's independent businesses to discuss parking issues, business rates, support from the local council and the effect the High Street improvements are having on local traders, ahead of a meeting with Brentwood Council on 15th July.

Nigel said:

"Issues raised include the lack of signage to shops and parking areas, the increase in parking fees and a general lack of support for independent traders from Brentwood Council.

"We will be presenting a number of ideas to help matters, but one of the first things we would like to see is more sympathetic signage, stating clearly that Brentwood is open for business as usual despite renovations to the town.

The current signs from Essex County Council effectively say "avoid Brentwood if you possibly can" and this is really affecting trade."

"We would also like to request that local media put out more positive messages that encourage shoppers in to the town. Apart from the Phoenix FM team, who have been supportive, there has been some extremely negative reporting by the media across Essex."

Cllr David Kendall said:

"As a long-time trader in Brentwood, Nigel Clarke understands first-hand how challenging it is to run a business and it is harder than ever at the moment.

"The Lib Dem group are doing all they can to support independent traders during these difficult times."

Nigel is keen to hear from other local traders who were unable to attend the meeting so their views can also be represented.

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