Opinions divided on our lights story
Our social media correspondents had much to say on the front page article in the Observer of November 23, 2018, concerning the Stirling city centre lights switch-on event. Some traders in King Street claimed barriers erected there effectively cut their businesses off from the 6000 people who attended the event. One councillor claimed the remarks were nonsense while the council said the barriers were to keep people safe during the entertainment and parade. The story prompted this response.
Feona Bowey dubbed the traders ‘Scrooges’and added: “Is it such a hardship to close for a couple of hours (even let the staff go watch)? They don’t understand Stirling if they’ve yet to realise that community is a big part of the city and these kind of events have a big role in that. They could close at 4pm and still benefit from the increased number of people in Stirling that day.”
Shaun Mullen: “Firstly, it happens every year so they should be prepared. Secondly, from what I can see there was clearly enough space and thirdly if I had lost profit I certainly wouldn’t be smirking in the paper.”
Linda Welsh : “The barriers were at the roadside,nowhere near the doorways to any of the shops or coffee shops. The reason no one was inside the shops or coffee shops was because we were all outside enjoying ourselves and having fun with our kids.”
Shams Tadasana: “When you’re a small business and one of the busiest day of your busiest season is a total bust, it is not‘first world problems’or‘moaning’- it can make the difference to your profit, if not your actual existence. Most retailers make the money that keeps them going over the whole year over the pre-Xmas period.”
Victoria Struthers, of Victoria’s Coffee Shop, King Street, said : “The problem we had was our customers on the other side of the barriers were not able to cross to get to us easily so it’s human nature just not to bother. I asked if the barriers were there all day and the steward told me they were down after Santa parade which obviously they weren’t and that was disappointing. It was an easy fix: there could have been a couple more access points. I appreciate safety is a concern but instead of councillors saying traders are talking rubbish perhaps they should listen and come up with a solution next year.
“We were OK, not as busy as I hoped, but we don’t normally open on Sundays or for the lights. Those saying suck it up and stop moaning should realise that opening a shop costs money. To be down significantly on a day’s takings is the same as not getting paid for a day’s work.