Save Stone Town Centre – Town Traders present some possible solutions to the Council

Traders from Stone Town Centre put a set of proposals to Stone Town Council at a General Purposes Committee meeting, which took place at Christ Church Centre on Tuesday 30 March – with the aim of saving Stone High Street from decline.

Mr Adam Jones, and Mr Mike Williams were invited to address the Council.

They said that traders from the town had met and produced a list of concerns . These concerns were raised and discussed by the Committee.

Points from town centre businesses raised were…

Traders

• Council and trader steering group

• Supporting each other

• Clarify loading in the high street as some traders have been given a ticket

• Set up a traders association with representatives from Stone and Stafford Council

Shopping

• Late night shopping with some events/entertainment/market once a month

• Limit charity shops

• An anchor store on the high street

Landlords

• Pressure on to maintain buildings e.g. not have scaffolding up for over a year

• Pop up shops in empty buildings

Council

• Approach local businesses when doing events e.g. food for the Christmas light switch on

• Tidy the high street

• Run a scheme to subsidise new businesses in town in the same way charity shops are helped

• Charity shops selling new unused items should be subject to the same rate bands as normal shops

• Who is responsible for what between Stone Town Council and Stafford inc planning

• Traffic management through the town, very poor only seems to add to congestion

• Councils plan B if M & S is built (how to attract M & S visitors to the high street)

Market

• Special events e.g. antiques

• Selected stalls to try to reduce stalls selling the same as local businesses e.g. toys, pet items, books, underwear

• Tie in scheme e.g. first period FOC second period cover cost but must attend days agreed

• Currently stalls block views and access to shops on the highstreet

• Rubbish left behind by stall holders

• Markets not policed properly (stall holders turn up and go as they please)

• Advertise spaces in the market to attract new stall holders

• Allow stall holders to bring their mown stalls

• Offer empty market stalls at the framers market to businesses in town (when stall holders have not turned up on the day)

• Who is responsible for the high street barriers (not always up when should be)

Parking

• Uplift free parking from 1 to 2 hours • Free parking on given days on the council run car parks

• Refund parking scheme similar to Newcastle under Lyme (i.e. what the co op do)

• Free parking

24/7 Signage

• Brown signs from the A34 for places of interest

• Business directory noticeboards on the high street and places such as the gym (one idea is to make these magnetic with each business paying for their own magnet on each board)

• Monitor and enforce codes of practice for Aboards and goods outside of shops

• Enforce shops to maintain their frontage

Town promotion

• Council on social media to promote the town and town event

• Promote the fact that Stone is a town full of independent businesses

• Market the town as if it were a brand • Town centre manager

Stone festival

• Route the parade through the high street

Christmas

• Focal point Christmas tree

• Christmas market with events such as a carol singers

Some good points made here, many seem obvious to us –

But what do you think would help Save Stone High Street?