Letter of Objection to Haslemere Herald from Clayton Fine Jewellery

This is Day Two of haslemereparking.com and The Editor has received this e-mail from a Haslemere retailer, Clayton Fine Jewellery Ltd.

Dear haslemereparking.com

An email has arrived from The Haslemere Chamber of Trade re haslemereparking.com

I have attached my letter to SCC  Parking Observations Clayton Jewellery it was copied to various people inc Jeremy Hunt, from whom I had a (standard?) response. I tried to create a letter that actually has real facts and not just sentiments.

Please feel free to use any bits as you feel fit….. and many thanks for your help & interest

Kind regards

Keith Clayton

Clayton Fine Jewellery Ltd

Keith also had this letter published in the Haslemere Herald today:

Sir,

I was interested to read the letters in this weeks Herald concerning parking in Haslemere, having attended the meeting on Tuesday. First of all I sympathise a lot with Mr Sprately & his neighbours. I consider it most selfish to park in a narrow street outside someone’s house. (I have to admit to being guilty of street parking, but although looking  ‘untidy’ I don’t believe I cause inconvenience). However, we all know there is a considerable shortage of parking spaces throughout the town and these spaces are in danger of being reduced.

Where I believe residents are understandably unaware of the facts, concerns who actually shops in our town. I like to arrogantly boast that after I opened my shop in a derelict yet prominent position in 2004, a number of other ‘quality’ retailers followed. Between us we have created the town that Mr Sprately describes and that encouraged Waitrose to join us. However, don’t be misled into thinking that because there are quality, independent shops all is fantastic. Haslemere shopkeepers are very fortunate that our  local residents enjoy supporting local shops. Many of my customers tell me they do all their shopping in Haslemere and ‘rarely go to Guildford’.  However, Haslemere is a very small town and only 50% of my customers have a GU27 postcode. I would suggest that most other retailers would have a similar profile, and this does mean that every other shopper who visits our town comes from outside of the immediate area. We all very much need those customers but they have a choice of which direction to point their cars when they leave their homes. Whilst I do not believe cost & convenience of parking is a deciding factor, it is of very considerable importance.

There are currently two prominent empty shops in the High Street. There are also at least four shopkeepers (not me!) who do not expect to be in business this time next year. They may of course sell their businesses as several have done during the past twelve months, or they may continue in business, or there may be empty shops. I guess some local people will say that we don’t need the quality specialist shops and we could be replaced with multiples, but the truth is that the multiples didn’t want to move into Woolworths when they had the opportunity, at times when multiple retailers were expanding. Now they are closing their shops. Shop-keeping is a costly activity in  both money & time. Do we want to take the risk with change right now that would create an even more difficult environment?

Keith Clayton.    High Street, Haslemere

Editor’s note: In future we ask that you register and self-post comments, photos, information. This site is manned by volunteers who are residents of Haslemere with full-time jobs. And, please remember this is a polite forum. Keith Clayton sets the tone well in what we hope will be the first of many contributions. Please feel free to comment. Thanks, Editor.