Sunday, 23 February 2020
Locally, in our nearest small town, there are 5 shops all due to close soon, M&S moved out last year and now branded store are following, each store has a much bigger store at an out of town retail park. The store which took the M&S site has also gone into administration, and they will close soon, so many changes, we already have loads of coffee shops and bistro's, but how will they survive if the shoppers don't visit. We have had 2 good reports on Fareham, last year it was the top place to retire to, and Halifax had it 2nd on their list as a good place to live, our council has been very good and we still have more services than most small towns.
Here, in our tiny village, our Co-op has closed, so the loss of the lottery, cash machine and the food sales, we use this store loads each week.We have been told our local paper shop, part of a chain is closing in the summer, this is not a surprise as the shelves are always empty in here, but the post office is part of the shop, so it will close, along with the lottery machine and another cash machine.
Now I have received a letter from our only bank, Lloyd's they are to close in August and the loss of the final cash machine.
We still have an Iceland, Superdrug, bakers and butchers, although we do not use the butchers his meat is not good and very overpriced, the baker is wanting to retire and has tried to sell the business, if foot fall drops we fear he may just close the shop. We do have a market here every Wednesday, which always bring people in, but is it enough. Our library has a good footfall, which has saved it from closing, but we do need a boost of income here in our local centre.
There is loads of chatter on our local facebook page, one of our ward councillors is brilliant, he is meeting with the bank, they made their decision last year, before all the other closures were known, not sure what he can do, but it's good he is trying. Not too far away is the village of Stubbington, which has a busy shopping centre, lots of useful shops and cafes, so villages can be profitable, lets hope something can be done for us, enough people are wanting to voice concerns and help.
There is another smaller Co-op with a post office, Lottery and cash machine in walking distance but it's away from the Prescient, we do need to keep people visiting the shopping prescient. Last year a small retail park opened near the huge Tesco superstore, which is not to far away, plus the big retail park a few miles away, neither of our local high streets can compete with them.
Everywhere changes, but to lose so much in one year, it is sad, we have a huge older population, people over 80, loads who do not drive. We loved moving here to a feel of a village, but we now watch to see how we survive.