Stop moaning, traders told

SHOPKEEPERS who have been blaming Canterbury City Council for their woes have been told to stop whingeing.

Cllr Nick Eden-Green said this week: "I have spent several hours in at least three meetings listening to their case. So can they please stop lecturing me about not listening and consulting."

Cllr Eden-Green said: "I suggest there are a host of reasons why our independent traders are suffering, but these are matters totally outside the council's control."

On the Thursday evening before Christmas he had walked the length of the High Street and almost all the shops were open and the street was full of people with shopping bags.

He said: "I then walked down Palace Street, The Borough and Northgate. Apart from the restaurants almost all the shops were shut. If they can't open on the busiest evening of the year when the city is thronged with people, then they had better stop complaining.

"As a councillor I have listened to their views but I am disinclined to waste more of my time at meetings unless they address those matters within their control and stop unfairly blaming the council and councillors."

Chairman of the Canterbury Independent Traders' Association, Alan Jeffrey, said: "I don't want to get into a tit-for-tat with Cllr Eden-Green because we are all trying to be positive and move the situation on.

"There are 120 members selling a huge diversity of goods. He is right that many of the shops were not open on December 20 but I had opened on the previous Thursday when the late night shopping was launched and our street was deserted.

"All we are asking is for the council to keep its promises of old and help flag up and direct some of these crowds down the city's side streets."

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