Aldeburgh: Petition in support of independent traders attracts more than 100 signatures in just 24 hours
A PETITION to support a Suffolk resort’s independent traders has made a strong start – netting more than 100 signatures in its first 24 hours.
The plea for backing comes from Aldeburgh Business Association amid plans by Tesco and Boots to open up new premises in the town.
There are fears that if national chains establish a foothold in Aldeburgh it could turn the resort into a “clone town”.
The petition, launched on Friday, comes ahead of a special “Independents Day” on Wednesday to boost the town’s retailers.
Naomi Tarry, chairman of Aldeburgh Business Association, said: “We want to focus people’s minds on how wonderful Aldeburgh’s High Street is.
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“It seemed like nice timing with the Independents Day coming up.
“There are some concerns about the future and what that might hold, but the more we pull together the more chance we will remain a vibrant place to live, work and shop.”
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Claire Bruce-Clayton, of Lawson’s Delicatessen, organised the Independents Day with Sue Fletcher, of ladies fashion boutique Caramel, and Aldeburgh Business Association.
She said: “It is about celebrating the independent shops in Aldeburgh and giving the public an opportunity to see what fantastic shops we have here – the huge range and the diversity of them.
“It’s an opportunity for shopkeepers to give something back to local customers and reward them for their loyalty.
“But we’re incredibly aware that there are high streets up and down the UK which are turning into clone towns because there are so few independent shops left.”
But she cautioned against being critical of the national chains already in Aldeburgh.
“We are great believers in working with people rather than against them,” she said.
“We have got some national chain clothes stores which bring custom to Aldeburgh at the weekends.
“The balance at the moment is good and we’d like to see that continuing.”
The Independents Day will be officially opened at 10am by Lady Caroline Cranbrook, who is a staunch supporter of independent stores.
There promises to be a celebratory atmosphere, with music, balloons and competitions, including a prize for a stay in a Best of Suffolk holiday cottage with a Lawson’s breakfast hamper.
Meanwhile, Ermintrude, a 1929 vintage bus supplied by Buckland Buses, will be running a shuttle between the residential areas of Aldeburgh and the High Street.
See http://chn.ge/N2QUMQ for the petition.