THE STATE OF MARGATE HIGH STREET – A TRADER SPEAKS OUT

This is a letter sent by a Margate trader to Councillor Iris Johnson, cabinet member for tourism in Thanet District Council.

I am writing to you regarding the Christmas light switch on and late night shopping event in Margate.

I discovered the late night shopping event two days ago via a general email from Thanet Tourism.

No one I asked in the high street knew about the late night shopping event –traders I mean.

The high street is dying.

There are no shoppers, especially now Primark has opened its new store in Westwood Cross.

I imagine the Primark here in Margate will close, too, after Christmas.

I will also be closing very soon.

I’m not taking enough now to pay the electric bill much less anything else.

I realise it sounds like I’m always moaning and perhaps that’s because I am so despondent now.

So much work and effort put into the high street for nothing!

I thought the Turner Centre was supposed to help kick start the regeneration of Margate.

It might as well call itself the “Isle of Turner Contemporary”.

Yesterday Ramsgate was packed.

It was on the radio all day, the place was buzzing for their Christmas lights switch on.

Meanwhile here in Margate the high street Christmas lights have been on all year and the Turner Centre is running the show.

Not a living soul in the high street – Turner tweeting about their own event and suggesting people visit their favoured shops in the old town.

I do realise that you are not in charge of the Turner but it’s heartbreaking for those of us that are working so hard to promote all of our town, consistently being left out.

Across the Isle there are massive light turning on celebrations – except Margate. I pay the same business rates as the old town yet we get left out every time.

I am seriously wondering if there is indeed a plan to turn all our high street to housing as the shops are not being helped at all.

CHANGES HAVE BEEN TO PROTECT THE IDENTITY OF THE WRITER.

A LONGER ARTICLE ABOUT THIS SUBJECT WILL APPEAR IN THE NEXT ISSUE OF THANET WATCH MAGAZINE

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