Traders speak out

VANDALISM, parking and a lack of promotion are some of the issues negatively affecting trade in Clevedon, according to the town’s business owners.

A meeting between traders and Clevedon Town Council members on Thursday saw them debate the main barriers preventing the town from thriving and deciding on ways to tackle them.

This was held after the town council carried out a survey with business owners to find out their views on trading in the town.

Town councillor Carl Francis-Pester said: “We want to find out how we can rejuvenate the area.

“We’re all in the same game and all trying to achieve the same benefits.”

Many shop owners protested at the frequent damage done by vandals to premises in the Queens Square area, with some refusing to repair their shops until the problem is solved.

Steve Sharp, owner of Dart Digital in Hill Road and a member of the Federation of Small Businesses, said: “Because of the way crime is reported - there is no particular section that deals with crime against businesses - it is hard to identify how big a problem this is.”

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A lack of parking in the Hill Road and Alexandra Road area of Clevedon was also raised, with complaints made that despite the roads’ two-hour waiting restrictions, many cars are left there longer - preventing shoppers from parking nearby.

As a result, a police representative will be invited to discuss parking and vandalism problems with traders and councillors.

Many at the meeting also said more could be done to attract visitors from the M5, calling for signs to be put along the motorway advertising Clevedon’s best features.

Others asked for better promotion within the town with either a map or brochure advertising the shopping areas and attractions. It was also suggested more could be done to market Clevedon to would-be traders.

As a result, a member of the North Somerset Council’s business development team will also be invited to the next meeting.

The town council now also plans to carry out a customer survey to find out what attracts them to shop in Clevedon and what improvements could be made.

* What do you think is the biggest issue affecting trade in Clevedon? Let us know by commenting below and voting in our poll.