Here’s hoping council talk is not just hot air
Reference the report by Keri Trigg, “Oswestry shops left deflated by balloon festival”.
The balloon festival has now become established as a successful annual event, which brings great publicity and enhances the profile of Oswestry.
For that the organisers deserve due congratulations for their hard work, both in planning and running the event over the weekend.
However, I was astonished to read and see the picture of the large burger van placed immediately opposite the Cae Glas Park entrance, which entirely masked the shop front of the Old Coffee Pot tea rooms.
The owner described the resultant drastic drop in trade, on what should have been one of the busiest weekends of the year.
The prior licencing and positioning of vans is a council responsibility. Clearly it should not be the case that the interests of local businesses are overlooked, no doubt inadvertently, in favour of transient catering operators.
It should be remembered they pay business and council tax, and are the life blood of the local community.
The town clerk, Mr Arren Roberts, appears to recognise the issue and is quoted as saying “ we will work with partners to continue to improve what we have done”.
These are good intentions, and the council could helpfully give immediate real force to their meaning by undertaking that in future an exclusion zone will be placed outside such catering establishments and/or they are given the option of taking a stall themselves on the road at no fee.
Simon Quick, Oswestry
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