澳彩开奖结果

New Street shopkeeper wants chance to air views on changes

Simon Le Bas, of Zen, in New Street Picture: James Jeune (38168035)

A SMALL-business owner in town says he is 鈥渇rustrated by a lack of consultation鈥 regarding planned Infrastructure works on New Street.

Simon Le Bas, who runs wellbeing shop Zen, told the JEP that when he was first notified of the project by the government six months ago.

He assumed that there would have a been a 鈥減roper sit down鈥 for affected business owners to express their ideas and concerns.

However, according to Mr Le Bas, only a handful of 鈥渋nformal chats鈥 materialised.

Resurfacing work on New Street forms part of the government鈥檚 public realm scheme, which covers the stretch from Union Street to New Cut, and would give the street 鈥渁 new look and feel, with space for people to move about freely or to st鈥媜p and enjoy their environment鈥. This includes new paving, planting, more seating and street lighting.

It is due to start this September and take place in stages, with estimated completion to be by next June.

鈥淚t鈥檚 the lack of courtesy,鈥 Mr Le Bas said. 鈥淲e鈥檙e the people that have our businesses [on New Street]. I would have thought that we are quite important鈥.

Mr Le Bas said a consultant visited his shop recently. 鈥淚 get handed a leaflet saying this is what鈥檚 happening. That鈥檚 it. I wanted to give my views and have someone listen.

鈥淎ll this work is going to have a huge impact on trade,鈥 Mr Le Bas added.

Responding to concerns, the Infrastructure and Environment Department said that it continues to consult with businesses in the area as part of a phased series of engagement that started in December last year.

鈥淚n phase two, in January to March this year, the engagement was extended to local traders along New Street and New Cut鈥, they said. 鈥淭here were discussions with the three largest traders in New Street.鈥

The government encouraged other businesses to 鈥渟peak directly to the project team about any issues鈥.

Responding to the news that consultations had taken place with the three largest traders on the street, Mr Le Bas said: 鈥淎re we [small business owners] not considered important enough?鈥

鈥淚t鈥檚 not a huge street. We鈥檙e even more vulnerable to drops in footfall [than the bigger businesses]. Any effects in our trade can affect the future of our business鈥.

The business owner told the JEP that he had already experienced a significant drop in footfall during recent drainage works that closed a large portion of the road.

He called on the government to do more to prevent that happening when the new project begins.

鈥淚t seems to be a common theme with government. They鈥檒l ask you for your opinion but go ahead and do [the work] anyway,鈥 he said.

Mr Le Bas added: 鈥淎 couple of the businesses put banners up [during the drainage works] saying their businesses were open but they had to pay for those themselves.鈥

Another New Street shop owner expressed his concerns about the planned works, which he said would not solve any of the issues in the area.

Allan Kittleson, who runs the tailors shop at number 3, New Street, said: 鈥淸The government] are making it look nicer but are not solving any [existing] issues鈥.

鈥淭hey shouldn鈥檛 have buses and taxis coming down [New Street]. It is too small.鈥

On the new 鈥減iazza feel鈥 plans, he added: 鈥淧eople aren鈥檛 going to want to sit on a new bench when there are buses and taxis hurtling past.鈥

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