Disappointment at holiday shift
AHorsham business representative is leading objections to a Horsham municipal decision to change a public holiday from Melbourne Cup Tuesday on November 7 to Horsham Cup on Friday, November 3.
Horsham Plaza manager Allison Roberts has written to Horsham Rural City Council, detailing concerns on behalf of plaza businesses, after surveys regarding the proposal.
She has also addressed the letter to the Horsham community, as well as Horsham councillors and The Weekly Advertiser editor and provided survey details.
Following is her letter, which she has asked the council to table at its next meeting.
SIR, – RE: Melbourne Cup Day-horsham Cup Day and Horsham Plaza Shopping Centre.
We voice our strongest objection and extreme disappointment at Horsham Rural City Council for changing the public holiday away from Melbourne Cup Day.
Why conduct a survey if you are not going to listen to the respondents?
The Weekly Advertiser, May 3, 2017 reported: “…the highest response was for Melbourne Cup day with 36.8 percent of respondents voting to remain with the status quo.”
This decision shows little respect for the Horsham community and Horsham businesses.
History shows Horsham Plaza door traffic is extremely low on Melbourne Cup Day.
Last year our Tuesday door traffic was 2100, less than half of an average Tuesday, and most of the visits were before noon.
Analysis shows 55 percent of Horsham Plaza traffic is from Horsham and the balance from the greater region.
There will be confusion as the greater region will not be aware of the Horsham public holiday on the Friday.
It is also unfortunate that five weeks prior, we have to observe a statewide AFL public holiday Friday, but understand that is out of local control.
We attended a meeting conducted by Horsham Rural City Council’s Matt Gould who is aiming to build on existing town events and generate new events on the cup weekend to assist businesses.
However, it is possible that many staff members will take the Monday as a rostered day off and go away for a four-day weekend.
We have undertaken a small survey of schools and banks and have learned that schools will be open on the Friday holiday when working parents have the day off.
On the Tuesday, schools will be closed when the parents are working – what a mess.
Has anyone considered the day-care issue for the children?
Most local schools are closed on the Monday for an annual curriculum day.
Furthermore, we have surveyed our own stores and it is difficult to get an accurate indication, with many of our stores being national stores. However, this gives us a general indication.
Horsham Plaza is always supportive of community and local events, however feels that moving the public holiday to a Friday is not in the best interests of the Horsham community and all businesses in town which are rate payers.
Melbourne Cup is the race that stops a nation, however, the Horsham Cup public holiday is the day that will stop Horsham. Allison Roberts Horsham Plaza Centre manager On behalf of Horsham Plaza retailers Shopping