Don Foster MP*
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FOSTER VOICES CONCERN FOR THE FUTURE OF COMMUNITIES

Don has voiced his deep regret, and great concern, over the closure of the community shop in Lymore Avenue, but is worried it's symptomatic of a wider trend.

Main Image“I deeply regret the closure of this very special shop.

“We all feared this would be the result if the Post Office part of the business was taken away, which is why we campaigned so hard against the closure of the Post Office, and we were all so bitterly disappointed when we lost the fight.

“There could have been no stronger case than the one we made to keep this particular Post Office branch open. The area should have been seen by the authorities as an ‘urban village’ and recognised as a special case.

“I vehemently condemn the government over the way they’ve allowed Post Office Ltd. to go about its so called “network reinvention” program; as well as driving so many customers away from the local post offices with their obsession with direct payment of benefits and pensions.

“However, my concern is that the closure of this community shop is only symptomatic of a really worrying wider trend.

“It is absolutely scandalous that since Labour came to power in 1997, general stores have been closing at the rate of one per day.* Specialised stores including butchers, bakers, fishmongers, and newsagents selling confectionery, tobacco, and newspapers have been closing at the rate of 50 per week!.*

“The sudden growth of ‘fake local’ stores under the name of the big supermarket brands presents yet another threat to small independent stores, and have reportedly caused drops in business of 30–40 per cent for other local shops.*

“Furthermore, in spite of government intervention and a commitment to keep post offices open in areas of high deprivation, branch closures increased in the year to March 2003 to a total of 345.*

“And according to the Campaign for Real Ale, 20 traditional pubs are closing every month across Britain.

“It is clear – our communities are under threat as never before, and whilst it’s up to us all to support our local facilities – the Government must wake up to this warning and act now before it’s too late.”

ENDS

*New Economics Foundation ‘Ghost Town Britain II: Death on the High Street. How Britain’s Local Economies are Losing Ground and Fighting Back’, 15/12/03, pp.2-3.

This article published: 18/12/2023

Published by Bath Liberal Democrats, 31 James St West, Bath, BA1 2BT. Printed and hosted by JPC Infonet, 2 St Georges Works, Trowbridge, Wiltshire, BA14 8AA. Your Privacy._blank

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