‘Can­ter­bury in shadow of fel­low cathe­dral city’

Kentish Gazette Canterbury & District - - Front Page - By Joe Wright jwright@thek­m­group.co.uk @joe_wright98

A for­mer coun­cil plan­ning boss says Can­ter­bury is liv­ing in the shadow of fel­low cathe­dral city Winch­ester.

Bob Brit­nell, who was at the city au­thor­ity for 12 years, wants coun­cil­lors to take a trip to Hamp­shire to gain in­spi­ra­tion from the way the city is run.

He says free park­ing on Sun­days, free en­try to the cathe­dral, and a bumper Christ­mas mar­ket are boost­ing the num­ber of peo­ple go­ing to Winch­ester.

“I think both the coun­cil and the cathe­dral are miss­ing a trick,” he said.

“Winch­ester has two mul­ti­storey car parks, 17 sur­face car parks and three park and ride sites which are all free on Sun­days – it’s a fan­tas­tic con­trast to Can­ter­bury.

“Coun­cil­lors need to take a field trip and see for them­selves how they can gain some valu­able tips as free park­ing on Sun­days would ab­so­lutely give a boost to traders in the city centre.”

Winch­ester coun­cil­lor Stephen Godfrey says he would warmly wel­come Can­ter­bury of­fi­cials to take a tour of the city.

He ex­plained: “Ev­ery­one is al­ways wel­come to come to Winch­ester and I would be de­lighted to share our ex­pe­ri­ence For­mer city plan­ner Bob Brit­nell be­lieves Can­ter­bury could learn some lessons from the fel­low cathe­dral city of Winch­ester

‘The Winch­ester Christ­mas mar­ket is held in the cathe­dral precincts and there is no ad­mis­sion charge’

with a fel­low coun­cil­lor.

“I can’t say if we have a bet­ter set-up than Can­ter­bury as I don’t know it well but they could maybe learn from us.

“We are the only town or city in our area which has free park-

ing on Sun­days and that scheme en­cour­ages peo­ple to come to Winch­ester in­stead of go­ing else­where. The city has a won­der­ful event at­mos­phere on those days be­cause of it.”

Mr Brit­nell also fears that Can­ter­bury Cathe­dral’s ad­mis­sion prices – £12.50 for an adult and £33 for a fam­ily ticket – are dam­ag­ing the city.

He added: “Both Can­ter­bury and Winch­ester have large cathe­drals and the cities are re­liant on vis­i­tors com­ing there.

“I think those com­ing to Can­ter­bury will be let down when they dis­cover they have to pay to go in the cathe­dral. Those peo- ple who are let down will then not rec­om­mend the city to other po­ten­tial vis­i­tors.

“The Winch­ester Christ­mas mar­ket is held in the cathe­dral precincts and there is no ad­mis­sion charge – whereas at Can­ter­bury you have to pay all year round.

“There are about 200 stalls with no tat, mobile phone cov­ers or lurid jumpers – it was all qual­ity stuff.”

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