Sunday opening dilemma in town

SHOPPERS are being urged to vote to decide if shops should open in Woodbridge on a Sunday.A poll has been launched to gauge the reaction of people living in Woodbridge and visiting the town and to assess whether it is worthwhile for shopkeepers to open on Sunday.

By Richard Smith

SHOPPERS are being urged to vote to decide if shops should open in Woodbridge on a Sunday.

A poll has been launched to gauge the reaction of people living in Woodbridge and visiting the town and to assess whether it is worthwhile for shopkeepers to open on Sunday.

The poll is expected to last a few weeks and early indications reveal the majority of the 40 people who have voted have said they do not want shops to open. The options are all-year round Sunday opening; only in the summer or occasional opening.


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Marion Wells, the town centre co-ordinator, has teamed up with Linn Barringer , a computer consultant, to launch the poll and then she can present the results to the chamber of commerce. They want as many people as possible to take part to ensure the poll is representative of the community.

At the moment the few premises which open on Sunday include newsagents, Budgen, Woolworths, bookmakers and off licences.

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The town's library now opens on a Sunday and this attracts people who could then want to shop. During the summer there are many tourists who are attracted towards the River Deben and wander around the town centre. There are also special events, such as the round-the-town 10km race and concerts in Elmhurst Park.

Neville Stein, the chamber of commerce vice chairman, owns a chocolate shop in the Thoroughfare. He said: ''There seems to be a feeling that perhaps consumers want Sunday opening, not necessarily those living in Woodbridge, but perhaps people coming from outside the area.

''But personally I am against it for moral, religious and philosophical reasons although I do shop on a Sunday at Tesco.

''It would be nice to be able to look round the town on a Sunday and enjoy the ambience without anything being open. I am a hands-on shopkeeper and even if I got staff to open on a Sunday, if something went wrong I would end up working and then it is seven days a week which is too much.''

You can vote by logging onto www.WoodbridgeSuffolk.info

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