Diversity

I am writing in response to the article on August 8 about the probable introduction of parking fees in the centre of Portishead. I am against this because

I am writing in response to the article on August 8 about the probable introduction of parking fees in the centre of Portishead.I am against this because local independent High Street traders all over the country have a hard time competing with national/multinational chains who have been allowed to build large warehouse style stores with acres of free parking.Supermarkets which originally only sold food now sell absolutely everything from insurance to shoes to fuel, leaving little for independent retailers to offer except personal service and some very specialised goods such as musical instruments.Even the traditional wool shop has been replaced by a huge out-of-town store.The public is generally wedded to their cars and given the choice of easy free parking in a superstore car park or having to locate and then pay for a limited amount of parking near local shops, I think that they will opt for the former.Local authorities and the Government should be offering incentives and financial help for people brave enough to start up an independent retail business as large companies have the huge advantage of being able to offer free long term parking, apart from vast bulk buying power, etc. I am not a retailer, but just a member of the public who doesn't want to lose what little diversity is still left in the High Streets of small towns like Portishead.I don't consider that charity shops, hairdressers and estate agents add to the High Street shopping experience but these businesses are far too numerous in many smaller local shopping centres as other trades have failed to survive.E M ElworthyDownside, Portishead


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