Stall can stay in place as trader is sup­ported

Gloucestershire Echo - - NEWS - By LEIGH BOOBYER

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. leigh.boobyer@reach­plc.com

Pic­ture: Si­mon Pizzey

Mark Mor­ris at his stall near the Prom­e­nade

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