Sunday car boot sale in Wisbech market place further degrades image of the town
There is a certain irony in the Wisbech Town Council plan to establish a car boot sale on the market place.
It has spent years waging a war to keep cars out of the market place, destroying trade for both the stallholders and the surrounding shops in the process.
One has to wonder why the movement of cars is considered more dangerous in the market place than it is in one of the out-of-town superstore car parks.
In both cases cars are in close proximity to pedestrians, the only difference is the market place pavements at least offer some demarcation between the two.
In my view the council has treated the Saturday market traders so poorly over the years, that few now bother to come to Wisbech, making the Saturday market a pale shadow of its former glory.
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I strongly oppose the belated attempt to increase footfall in the market place by running a tawdry, poorly regulated, car boot sale on a Sunday.
I object on the grounds that this further degrades the image of the town, but I suppose this fits with the down-market ambience the council has been actively cultivating for years.
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I feel sure a car boot sale will in no way detract from the image of decay that emanates from the closed or closing down shops and the dilapidated building that are so close to collapse.
The brightly painted false shop facades cannot hide the vacant lots behind that were once a thriving and diverse range of businesses, unlike the sparse, low quality, monoculture we suffer now.
I was not surprised at the council’s recent attempts to remove the trees from the market place, as these are one of the few features that make it attractive.
No doubt the out-of-town superstores have played a part in the destruction of the market place as a centre for trade.
Certainly council policy has favoured their development over in-town shopping, but even this may yet prove to be an example of bad long-term planning, if the superstores close or relocate, as now seem likely. Even they need the town to have a shopping centre core to maintain their identity.
The age of the superstore is coming to an end, as they fall victim to internet shopping and shopping habits that demand smaller, more flexible local shops. The town will not only have lost its market place shops for nothing but also the productive farm land that once surrounded it.
Now all we need is someone to turn out the lights. Oh, I have just read that this is well in hand.
The Sunday car boot is an unsightly mess and should be stopped immediately and the ghastly sign taken down.
In my view the market should be kept to Thursdays and Saturdays only.
If the council is providing for “everybody” as Councillor Samantha Hoy insists, how about some upmarket events for a change?