Message from the Chair

Grahame Russell on the vitality of the town and the opportunity to choose who will best support local businesses in the new East Grinstead and Uckfield constituency.

In the May newsletter I referred to the loss of high street businesses given the change in shopping trends and the challenges of current trading conditions. Earlier this month new mayor Steve Ody and I embarked on a walkabout in the town visiting a number of High Street and London Road businesses. The message Steve and I received was consistent – the last 12-18 months has been brutal. In the context of these prevailing trading conditions, it is a pity that our District Council feel it an appropriate moment to put up parking charges in the town by 30% and propose to introduce evening, Sunday and bank holiday charges.

On the parking charges, the Council have deemed it part of their constitution that they cannot revisit this decision for six months after the original decision was made at the end of February. By my calculation that’s the end of August … so please write in to the Council once the consultation period begins after the General Election. Jacquie Russell (by the way we are not related!) – EGBA committee member and our representative with Mid Sussex District Council – and I, will advise on the process for this as soon as we have the details.

In the meantime some of you attended our pre-General Election event on ‘Local Business’ with all of our parliamentary candidates at Chequer Mead last week. The focus was very much on the vitality of the town given the conditions that are mitigating against us. In our newly-formed constituency following the boundary changes, the evening demonstrated that that we have some high quality candidates. We wish them well and I think they are all clear about the local, as well as national, challenges.

Grahame

Author: Fiona Bewers
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