Hot Seat

Llanelli Star - - Letters -

IT was a plea­sure to join AM Lee Wa­ters, Llanelli Mayor David Darkin and some of our lo­cal Labour coun­cil­lors in the town cen­tre for Small Busi­ness Satur­day.

This is al­ways a fan­tas­tic op­por­tu­nity to cel­e­brate the con­tri­bu­tion lo­cal shops and in­de­pen­dent re­tail­ers make to our com­mu­nity here in Llanelli.

It is these busi­nesses that keep our town vi­brant and unique, so it is vi­tal that we make every ef­fort to sup­port them. As well as en­cour­ag­ing oth­ers to shop lo­cal, I took the op­por­tu­nity to make a start on my Christ­mas shop­ping with some items from shops in Llanelli town and Burry Port.

Small Busi­ness Satur­day is also an im­por­tant re­minder that when it comes to lo­cal shops and in­de­pen­dent busi­nesses, it is very much a case of use it or lose it. If we don’t make the most of these as­sets, we could see more of them close. I, like many oth­ers, have been very con­cerned to see shops dis­ap­pear form the town cen­tre re­cently. This re­flects a re­tail cri­sis up and down the coun­try that has been driven by the con­tin­u­ing drift to in­ter­net shop­ping.

This wor­ry­ing trend prompts us to re­think what we want from our high streets and town cen­tres. We must re­bal­ance the mix of res­i­den­tial, of­fice, re­tail, per­sonal ser­vices and leisure ac­tiv­ity providers in or­der to in­crease town cen­tre foot­fall.

But let’s not for­get that we have seen a num­ber of busi­nesses come to Llanelli. Within one year, I had the plea­sure of open­ing Les­lie Gilbert Jewellers in the Step­ney Ar­cade and the new HQ of Logic Doc­u­ment, a data man­age­ment com­pany that now neigh­bours it.

This and some of the other new busi­nesses we’ve seen open here re­cently are wel­come, but we need to do what we can sup­port them and help our town cen­tre to flour­ish.

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