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It's all going ON in Warrington


Gary
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I attended the launch of the new marketing campaign by Warrington Borough Council to attract people to Warrington Town Centre.

Local businesses were asked to support this campaign - I attended the campaign and have volunteered my services to actively support it.

I would appreciate reader feed back on their own town centre experiences and what they feel could be done to generate more interest in our town - which is unfortunately in the top 10 for vacant premises.

This is the logo for the new campaign which you will see on our website and can click on to see what events are taking place.

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CLICK HERE

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stop charging for parking and get rid of the vulture traffic wardens..... it may then put us on a level playing field with Widnes and the trafford centre.

 

Have you seen all the new investment that is going on in Widnes lately? Massive new shops, hotels restaraunts.....we are being left behind because of blinkered councillors and officers who have no idea...

 

in fact I believe that some shops are even refunding parking charges to get people to shop in the town. That is nothing short of another local tax on business as they will lose that directly off their profits....

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I hardly go into Warrington town centre, if I can help it. I much prefer the 'edge of town' retail parks. Parking is easier and free.

 

I agree with Baz, that the cost of parking is prohibitive, to shop in what has streets that have a 'ghost town' vibe about them.

 

My good friend is over from South Africa at the moment. She's a Warringtonian, born and bred. She hasn't been back for nine years, so I took her into town so that she could have a look around.

 

We went into Warrington Market, which was her first shock. She was shocked that it was so quiet and dismayed about the lack of stalls at the back of the building. When I told her that it won a prize for best market, she said that she'd dread to see the worst.

 

I think that WBC should reduce the rent for the stall holders, who must find it hard to make a living with such a reduced footfall. Maybe they could also make a couple of stalls available, free of charge for young people wanting to start their own businesses. Maybe they could allow people to use the stall on a rota basis, or for a block of time, say three months before moving on, or starting to pay rent on the stall. This would surely energise what was once a brilliant market.

 

We moved from the Market to Bridge Street, her second shock. I did explain that a number of the shops had moved into Golden Square. It's a crying shame that so many shops are boarded up.

 

Again, I feel that the council needs to make some of them available for free to new businesses. Give them six months rent and rate free to see if they can make a success of themselves. The old Boots store is large enough to put young entrepreneurs into 'zones' within the building, giving them the chance to get on their feet in a fairly hostile retail economic environment.

 

I'm sure that there will be lots of red tape which could prevent my suggestions from being carried out but WBC needs to cut straight through it and make things happen. After all 50% of nothing is nothing and will continue to be nothing. Shops need to be occupied to attract footfall to the area before it dies on its feet.

 

Supporting young people to trade will invigorate the area because, let's face it, Pound shops won't attract visitors to the town.

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Of course the other expensive factor is getting to town on the bus.....£1.80 from Westbrook to town is absolutely outrageous.....it is transport, parking and as Shiela says; rent and rates costs that need to be addressed. Sort that and the town may have a chance again..... because if it isn't sorted, the big shops in the Mall will look at reduced trade and footfall and clear off out of Golden Square too if they are not careful

 

If people are shopping in the Trafford Centre and Widnes and not bothering with Warrington, why would they continue to occupy expensive shops in the square.... one downward spiral can lead to another

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Made a plea some months ago to make lower Bridge street a young people area - attractions; sports; leisure activities. As with a sunday school that would attract children;parents; and grand-children into town.

 

Generally, the centre of Warrington is somewhat unattractive with all the empty shops. How many people would a cinema attract?

 

Sorry, but the area has go to be more attractive to potential customers than other places. Golden Square does it's best.

 

Easier and less expensive parking; perhaps a half price bus service, might also be considered.

 

Happy days

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Good for you, Obs. I fell away years ago, primarily because of a health problem but when that was rectified I never returned.

 

I'm not sure I agree with the extra tax but I do understand where you are coming from.

 

I would *love* to see my home town revitalised. There are so many things that could be done to encourage it.

 

I guess the new campaign, although prematurely named, will help to address this.

 

Gary, the organisation ought to form some focus groups, with people who 'say it as it is'. I'm sure there would be many takers from people who hold this town close to their hearts.

 

The focus groups should be chaired by someone who can influence/create change, not someone who merely summarises information and reports back.

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Gary, the organisation ought to form some focus groups, with people who 'say it as it is'. I'm sure there would be many takers from people who hold this town close to their hearts.

 

The focus groups should be chaired by someone who can influence/create change, not someone who merely summarises information and reports back.

 

I have put myself forward for such a focus group which is being formed.

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When I was away, I used to get homesick for Warrington. Not anymore. Now I am happier to stay away from my home town. It is in one hell of a mess!

 

That's very sad to read.

 

Our town used to be fantastic and Saturday always meant going to town centre at some point, for some reason or another, even for nothing more than a walk around because it was our Saturday habit.

 

I distinctly remember being stuck in traffic in Mersey Street one Saturday afternoon. I was approaching Bridge Foot and listening to a programme on the radio about the late John Lennon. I think it was a one hour programme and I heard it all as I was waiting to get into town. On that day, I decided to do my future shopping in either Manchester or Liverpool, which I did for a number of years.

 

I would love the pride in our town to be restored, maybe because I'm entering my second childhood but mainly so that the town can regain some pride and not be known for binge drinking and anti-social behaviour.

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Much has already been said, but here is my opinion, much of which is repetition of previous posts.

 

- Rates are high in the town centre (considering it is a small retail area compared with similar sized towns) and this deters shops from moving in.

- Very limited range of shops, and a rapidly declining market.

- Parking charges high compared with other towns

- Golden Square, supposed to be the main area is poorly designed, why is there the need for the inclines puts disabled people off, why does there have to be slippy tiles. Why are there so many empty units (I know cost of renting)

- The character has been knocked out of the town by the NT Dev't Corp and all that followed them

- Competition from nearby towns and centre.

- Poor and badly maintained roads don't attract people into the town.

 

Where i live we have a good bus service into town but you cannot carry large or bulky items on the bus, so the car is required. This week for the first time in many months I bought two bulky items in town but both traders had a free car park in front of the "sheds" making life easy for shoppers.

 

We get about a bit and compare other towns with Warrington Its a shame its got into its current state

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Free parking, free parking, free parking.

 

Oldham council have made all of their public car parks free every Saturday from now to Xmas.

 

Oh, and leave the bl**dy roads alone!!!! We don't need traffic lights on roundabouts, we don't need months and months of delays on the A49 just to swap a perfectly serviceable roundabout for a crossroads, the access to the Golden Square car park should have been got right first time - or at least should be rectified at nights, there's no point having a multi-year programme of "improvements" inflicting years of delays and inconvenience on the people of the town if the town centre will have died by the time it's finished.

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Maybe the council could provide incentives for restaurants/other eating establishments to move in in some of the empty units on areas like bridge street? Imagine how much better it would look if it was tidied up with outside seating, terraces etc, with the long term aim of making it like the area in the trafford centre with all of the restaurants in them. It would take some investment, but we would end up with something warrington doesnt already have which would attract people to warrington and would make money

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tg....

 

the idea is good in principle.... however, we have councillors in this town who are more interested in their own careers, their interests and keeping Warrington full of teenage pissheads by allowing licenses to bars the length and breadth of the town centre....

 

If only they paid more attention to the town as a whole instead of their own little empires something may happen....

 

I don't hold out much hope though. We need new blood to come up with some new and fresh ideas instead of 60 and 70 year olds who have been councillors for 10 years or more and toe the party line instead of doing what is right and good for the town. Sadly, independants do not have a good shot in this town because there are too many voters who won't vote and those that do only vote for party and not for ideas.

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Chicken and egg: to increase footfall, you need to bring in the shops etc; in order to bring them in, you need to reduce their costs (rates etc); then you have to make it easier and cheaper for folk to come in (= free parking etc) - all of which costs money initially. So, you then need to look at where they can get the money from in order to provide such investment, and whether Local Gov has sufficient powers to expand their revenue/tax base? EG. by taxing out of town s/markets. :unsure:

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Same old record Obs, increasing taxes rather than decreasing costs. What is wrong with the council reducing the taxes levied on local business AND reducing their own outlay. There is never any effort shown by politicians of any party, local or national, to reduce their own spending. The party is over, when are they going to realise it? :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll:

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Don't be so naive Obs. If they put their minds to it local and central government could easily cut costs without reducing essential services. You point this out yourself when it suits your agenda :wink: :wink: :wink:

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I’m not sure what Gary’s trying to achieve? Is it an attempt to increase trade for the existing businesses or to find out why I someone like me doesn’t go there that often? Two very different questions but which one are we talking about?

 

Bill :)

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I’m not sure what Gary’s trying to achieve? Is it an attempt to increase trade for the existing businesses or to find out why I someone like me doesn’t go there that often? Two very different questions but which one are we talking about?

 

Bill :)

 

I would appreciate reader feed back on their own town centre experiences and what they feel could be done to generate more interest in our town - which is unfortunately in the top 10 for vacant premises.

You can answer both elements if you like.

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They could cut the exhorbitant business rates for small businesses.

They could stop charging for removal of small businesses' waste, which is mainly paper and cardboard that they could sell to paper mills for recycling, thus helping to save trees.

They could cut the nuber of pubs and clubs in the town centre.

They could have longer trading hours for shops. Here most shops are open till 2am and do a lot of business. The city centres are still crowded in the early hours with people shopping. Longer trading hours would create more job opportunties too.

They could provide entertainments, maybe using the skittle monstrosity as a stage. Lets face it has no usefull purpose as it is.

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