Stall can stay in place as trader is supported
AFLOWER stall will stay in its place after months of pressure to move it from its long-term spot.
Mark Morris, who has run The Flower Man stall at the junction of the Promenade and Ormond Place for 11 years, has faced calls to move his stand since July.
A fleet of high street retailers including Beards and Horace Barton & Son, as well as the Regent Arcade shopping centre, wanted Mr Morris to move because the stall was making it more difficult for the street to attract more shoppers.
Managing director of jewellery store Beards, Alex Rose, said in a council meeting last night that the placement of the flower stall meant businesses on Ormond Place are “missing out on footfall”.
Mr Rose claimed that punters felt the stall “acted as a psychological barrier” from the Promenade up to Regent Street. But councillors at Cheltenham Borough Council licensing sub-committee last week dismissed the notion, stating that the stall “enhances the area, not hampers it”.
They later voted for Mr Morris to keep his spot by a majority of three.
Speaking before the committee, Conservative councillor Chris Mason, who represents the ward the flower stall lands, said: “I’ve not met anybody who wants to see him move.”
Mr Morris’s stall, which sits inbetween Beards and clothing store Whistles, sells locally-sourced flowers to passers-by every day of the week.
Speaking after the meeting, Mr Morris said: “I’m relieved. It’s another worry off my head because it’s been on my mind for three of four months, especially over the summer.
“At least I know I have another 12 months of trading without no one having to object to us being there.
“All the traders in the area, not just me, we need local businesses and local support.
“We must support each other through these rough times, all businesses are having a hard time at the moment.”
Mr Rose, speaking after the meeting, said they won’t mount any more pressure on Mr Morris to re-locate his stall.
He said: “It was a fair meeting. I was disappointed not to get the support of our local councillor who didn’t even take the time to consult with us.
“We accept the council’s decision and as far as we are concerned that’s the end of the matter.
“We’re delighted that Mr Morris is going to stay on the Promenade.”
Nearby business menswear hope, Horace Barton & Son, claimed in a letter the stall was “crushing future beneficial developments” being planned by the Regent Arcade.
The shop circulated a document requesting signatures to have the flower stall move to a different location.
The arcade backed the shop’s stance, saying it believes the stall spoils the view close to its Ormond Place entrance.
According to a council document, the authority met with Mr Morris in August to discuss alternative locations for the stall.
Mr Morris did not “consider these any of these as a suitable alternative”, the council report said.
An online petition on the council’s website garnered 125 signatures, showing support for The Flower Man to stay in its Promenade spot.
The proposed revamp of the arcade on the southern end of Regent Street includes the addition of a five-screen boutique cinema, restaurants, a rooftop bar and a leisure facility in the basement.
The plans include redesigning the arcade’s Ormond Place entrance and carrying our major improvement work to the public realm.
Bosses say the development will be a great addition to the shopping centre, help boost footfall for the surrounding area and support the evening economy. firstname.lastname@example.org
Mark Morris at his stall near the Promenade