Traders say Main Street sit­u­a­tion has now reached crit­i­cal

Busi­nesses call on coun­cil­lors to step into help

Rutherglen Reformer - - News - Dou­glas Dickie

Traders have joined forces to de­mand ac­tion on Cam­bus­lang Main Street be­fore busi­ness de­te­ri­o­rates fur­ther.

Ear­lier this year it was re­ported that one in five shop own­ers were con­sid­er­ing their fu­ture in the town.

And that fig­ure shows no signs of chang­ing, with traders now say­ing the Main Street has reached a crit­i­cal point.

The re­cent open­ing of another char­ity shop on the street has been seen by some as the fi­nal straw, and they have called on the three lo­cal coun­cil­lors to make good on prom­ises they made dur­ing the elec­tion cam­paign.

Is­sues such as a lack of va­ri­ety of shops, park­ing and the state of the pave­ments have been raised by those who run busi­nesses on the street.

David Lind­say, who owns Mae­stro hair salon, re­vealed he could leave the street af­ter 30 years.

He said: “As things stand right now, I will be clos­ing the salon. I just don’t see a way for­ward.

“There is no va­ri­ety of shops. Peo­ple have cars now so they can just go to Mor­risons, I un­der­stand that.

“But then you look at places like Burn­side. Peo­ple will say there is money there, but there is money in Cam­bus­lang. We are sur­rounded by lawyers, doc­tors, con­sul­tants.

“There is a mas­sive amount of money here but it isn’t stay­ing in the town.

“I have worked on this Main Street for 30 years and to have to call it a day through no fault of my own is hor­ren­dous.”

Julie Bax­ter, man­ager of the M&Co, said the store “had been un­der threat.” She added: “There is noth­ing else to come down here for.

“We just need a wider va­ri­ety of shops, some­where to get a loaf of bread or a pint of milk rather than Mor­risons or Farm­foods.

“The coun­cil needs to lower the busi­ness rates or some­thing like that.

“How many more char­ity shops do we need? We need ev­ery­day shops like a gro­cer or a B&M, just some­where to pick up a bit of shop­ping. There is only one cash ma­chine and that runs out of money all the time.”

An­ge­line Coyle, who runs the Tea Bay cafe, called on lo­cal coun­cil­lors to take con­trol of de­ci­sion mak­ing in Cam­bus­lang.

She said elected mem­bers were merely rub­ber­stamp­ing de­ci­sions made by coun­cil of­fi­cers, who she said were “un­ac­count­able.”

She added: “It is time for coun­cil­lors to start tak­ing re­spon­si­bil­ity. The coun­cil should be ap­proach­ing stores like Tesco and ask­ing them to take on empty units.

“Per­haps they could look into com­pul­sory pur­chase or­ders.

“All the coun­cil­lors vowed to make the Main Street a pri­or­ity. It is time they did that.”

Speak­ing about the open­ing of another char­ity shop, Coun­cil­lor Ann Le Blond said the coun­cil had no power over pri­vate lets.

She said: “Un­less it is a change of use then it will not need to go by the coun­cil.

“We have no im­pact on who a land­lord wants to let a shop out to.

“All three coun­cil­lors made prom­ises but we never promised we could fix ev­ery­thing within six months.

“It is go­ing to be a long process. There is no ques­tion of po­lit­i­cal gain here, we want to work with the traders but it will take time.”

Con­cern An­ge­line Coyle from Tea Bay cof­fee shop, Liz McLean li­censee at Fin­lay’s bar, Karen Crooks from Classy Chicks and David Lind­say from Mae­stro Hair

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