Monday, February 04, 2008

Rigger Mortis

It's been so blustery here in the Millionaires' Playground recently that I thought I'd pop down to Riggers, our local outdoor shop, and treat myself to a new Berghaus. Trouble was, nobody had told me they've given up the ghost! And they're not the only ones. A five minute trundle around our town centre produced this haul:

So what's going on? Global recession? Greedy landlords forcing traders out with extortionate rents? Or could it be that our new out-of-town retail centre, Westwood Cross, has finished sucking all the life blood out of Margate and is now performing the same trick here too? I think we should be told!

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

Its called capitalism young man. The big ones are bleeding the little ones dry we will be left with only the big ones in the end!!!!

steve said...

when all the millionaires moving in/being created from the airport , they will all need somewhere to eat, bespoke tailors so they look dapper when meeting the accountant, and boutiques to buy the mistress something nice for the weekend. these empty shops look like they could house any of these new businesses.

or we could get a sh1t load of pound shops.

Anonymous said...

Even the pound shops are closing Steve.

The council claim Westwood has prevented £60m a year from leaving the local economy by preventing people going to Canterbury to shop but look at the effect it is having on our traditional town centres. In Folkestone and Canterbury they have built their new retail centres in the heart of the town a much more sensible idea. Whistable Deal and Herne Bay have much improved town centre shopping these days because they have concentrated on reinvigorating their town centres rather than putting up retail sheds on the outskirts.

All Margate and Ramsgate are going to have left is bars cafes and apartments and all because of the crazy council. Another case of Thanet letting developers in on their own terms, not ours, out of desperation.

Michael Child said...

Richard a couple of thought on this one, nearly all of the side streets in the town centre have been double yellowed recently and yet I notice that as soon as you get away from the town centre this doesn’t seem to have happened, even right by schools where parking looks quite dangerous. I did wonder if there was a sort of proactive approach to parking in Ramsgate i.e. making it really difficult to give WC a bit of a boost.

The other is that the bookshop isn’t doing too badly at the moment given that I am trading between two empty shops, something I can’t quite understand.

Oh and one question that some of you may have an answer for, what do you call a town without shops?

Anonymous said...

Margate!

steve said...

one thing we can all be grateful of - any empty shops with a smidgen of historical importance will undoubtedly be flattened because of high winds and big cracks.

Anonymous said...

2.52 highlights the spurious claims by TDC about the effect on a local economy by our Cllrs.

I was at the back of Tesco Metro in Cliftonville's Northdown Road on Friday watching builders waiting for concrete to dry on a minor building works; the installation of another ramp access from the rear exit. This work could easily have been done by a local builder. It was in fact being carried out by London based contractors with the guys coming from Hertford, Walthomstow and Ealing to work on a minor job at the back of a Tesco's store in Thanet. Now any Cllrs reading, here's just a little example of why big chains impoverish the locality they are in.
With 150,000 inhabitants spending £20 per week on food, somewhere in the region of £3million is spent by Thanetonians at the big food stores per week. So assuming takings of £150,000,000 per year and a modest 10% gross profit, how much of £15,000,000 is recycled within our local economy with builders; shop-fitters; drivers; mechanics; electricians etc HARDLY ANYTHING! Net result is money disappears out of our local economy. Quite simple really! THAT IS WHY OUR TOWNS ARE DYING!

Lucy Mail said...

Well done anonymous of 9:42 for demonstrating (yet again) that there's a limitless supply of different ways to cobble facts, figures and ideas together to support your own personal argument.
Money is an issue, of course, but it's not THE issue. It's what it's always been, a medium of exchange!
The real issues are heart and resolve, I think. Something that most people lack. But then, if that weren't the case, our Town would be busy indeed, and people would be complaining about the amount of blood everywhere, these days.

So let's carry on with our letter writing campaign. It'll fall on deaf eyes but, ultimately, it'll be the safer way to go about it. Similarly, our council should carry on hounding the thousands of people that can't afford to pay their council tax (a poor excuse, if you'll pardon the pun) and forget even trying to take on developers with a bit of wedge behind them.

After all, didn't mummy and daddy promise us that 'if we keep our heads down and do as we're told, life will be easy'? Oh, and 'there is no monster in the closet!' (if we ignore it, that is.)

Or should we winkle out this developer and do the same thing to his nose that he's just done to a part of our history? Then everyone's nose would be out of joint, which seems fairer to me!

Of course not! That would be incitement to riot, and there are laws against that kind of thing.

No, best err on the side of caution, I think.

Michael Child said...

Just a little bit of good news, the small shop next door to the bookshop that sold secondhand furniture and has just closed is being refitted as a beauty salon.

I believe the reason that it let so quickly is that it is just a straightforward rental and not a full repairing lease.

Excellent photography there Richard, I never seem to be able to get the bits out of my camera.

Eastcliff Richard said...

Thanks Michael. All I do is point and click. The ingenious little buggers who designed the camera do the rest!

Anonymous said...

TDC have to stop being greedy in raising revenue from parking, for example in Margate charging on a sunday in College SQ is totally unecessary. This destroying our town centres.Parking is now a big issue for local traders, the public will go elsewhere where it is free. Tdc should realise that regeneration will not happen until parking restrictions are lifted. Many of the restrictions/permit holder roads need to be reviewed. KCC does not charge for on road parking in Margate on a Sunday? The council appears to put current revenue before the interest of the local community, this in the long term will fail as revenue will fall from shops, parking etc and less result in less revenue raised.

Anonymous said...

It's time Tdc relised that no regeneration of it's towns will happen unless there is a vibrant shopping town centre. Allowing weekly markets that sell the same goods that compete with the shops, only accelerating the decline. Parking fees are also too high. WAKEUP TDC!!!!

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know whether it is true that business's in Westwood have enjoyed rate reliefs for the first years, someone said that this is the reason Homebase etc moved across the road only to extend this relief? If true this certainly unfair competition for local business who pay the full rateable value and have no relief.

Anonymous said...

Quess TDC/KCC in the end will find a way of installing parking charges via car parks/meters etc at Westwood X to conpsensate for loss of parking earnings in our local towns. Our town centres should have a business manager to manage the town centres, whilst funded by the council, their main focus is to attract new business to the town and work along existing businesses to see how the High st's can be improved.This has worked well in such places as Bromley.

Dick Rubin said...

Walking around Margate this afternoon I saw 3 piles of dog turd. That is one reason why I go to Westwood. Secondly Margate is a dump and has been for years. Most of it needs bulldozing bar the Old Town, the building on the corner at the bottom of the High Street (Used to be the Majestic)what a great building. There is another halfway up thats not bad too. Buy it all up, bulldoze and sell it to Carrilion or Land Securities to develop. New town centre and shops. p/s get rid of the arcades and turn into restaurants, bars etc. Its only an idea, easier said than done, I know.