Opin­ions di­vided on our lights story

Stirling Observer - - A VETERAN REMEMBERS -

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.

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