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High Streets 'have to look for a new role' - or else!

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Nick - Web Team Nick - Web Team | 11:18 UK time, Thursday, 5 March 2009

There's an interesting debate on the Evening Leader website asking about people's shopping habits after it emerged at a meeting of Shotton Town Council that something like 70 per cent of food bought by people living in Flintshire comes from three places: Asda, Queensferry; Tesco, Mold; and Broughton Shopping Park.

That's a staggering figure and it was revealed when Flintshire's regeneration official, Dave Heggarty, was suggesting a "new vision" was needed for our High Streets as it was clear "for whatever reason, [people] choose not to use our town centres".

By coincidence my family are trying something different at the moment. We've joined the not-for-profit Bryn Gwalia Food Co-op in Mold which sources veg from local producers. I'll keep you posted.

But that's not going to keep our High Streets viable, is it? In one breath, we're supposed to be worried that big business hurts the independent trade [Eagles Meadow has killed Wrexham High St] and then in another we hear that bringing in a major player nearby encourages more trade for other businesses.

Meanwhile, shops stand empty, that makes the High Street start to look tatty and then shoppers go elsewhere.

Look at our villages and the demise of the corner shop. Is that what's in store for the town centre High Street? There was something like 20+ shops in Bagillt alone at one time.

And Bill Evans' website about Froncysyllte takes readers on a photo tour of the old shops long since converted into housing.

Alun Salisbury has done something similar giving us an insight into the businesses in Cefn Mawr in the '50s. Lorraine Meredith even wrote a poem about them:

This little place I live in,
Is short of nothing that it's got.
You can do your daily business,
Hardly moving from the spot

But that was then and this is now and in Flint, people are talking about the state of the town today - they're worried - just like their neighbours in Shotton where regeneration official, Dave Heggarty, told councillors: We need to look at what is possible for our town centres and set out a vision. It may be that town centres like Shotton have got to look for a role slightly different to what they did in the past."

Tag: shops

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