Road closures prompt Southwold row
TRADERS in Southwold have criticised the town's chamber of trade in a row over road closures which are due to start today. Some shop owners in the seaside resort have claimed they are inadequately represented by the Chamber of Trade and Commerce after the announcement that Adnams' brewery intends to close the roads adjacent to East Green for a maximum of ten days.
TRADERS in Southwold have criticised the town's chamber of trade in a row over road closures which are due to start today.
Some shop owners in the seaside resort have claimed they are inadequately represented by the Chamber of Trade and Commerce after the announcement that Adnams' brewery intends to close the roads adjacent to East Green for a maximum of ten days.
They fear that they will lose trade over this period of time because although it is not the half-term holidays for comprehensive schools it is half-term for private schools.
This is something the chamber of trade should have been aware of, according to traders.
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John Blades, owner of corner shop No 1 St James Green, claimed the chamber was being “naïve” and failing to act on behalf of traders.
He added: “Half-term is not necessarily just one week and if anybody on the committee ran a business then they would understand how fragile our businesses are.”
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Fellow businessman Nick Williams, owner of Serendipity on the High Street, agreed that the shopkeeper's feelings were not being represented.
He said: “This is our final push until Christmas and we rely on the trade generated by the fact that private schools in this area and in London break-up this week.
“The chamber ought to be aware of this from a trader's point of view but they don't understand our trading patterns.”
He added: “There needs to be a lot more involvement and understanding between the members of the committee and what happens in Southwold.”
David Ward, chairman of the Chamber of Trade and Commerce in Southwold, however, said traders need to make the committee more aware of issues.
He said: “Had they made the chamber aware of the problems we could've sorted something out - maybe they should offer their services on the committee.
“The road is shut for the week and won't affect their business because people work around that.”
He also defended his position on the committee saying that St Felix Schools, of which he is the headteacher, is a business in itself with a £3million turnover.
The roads will be closed to facilitate the installation of new brewing equipment at Adnams.
Emma Hibbert, spokesperson for Adnams, said: “We should be finished before the main half-term holiday starts.
“Our chief engineer Bob Lee has spoken to the East Road residents and traders and he hasn't had any objections until now.”
She also said that the road was closed for a month during the Easter holidays and they did not receive any complaints then.