It looks as though the final few nails are being hammered into the coffin for shopping in Mansfield town centre.
We were in town recently (November 3), to do our normal shopping, but it looks as though this will be our last Saturday shopping in town.
There were only a few market stalls selling produce on the Market Place. There were the stalls along West Gate, none of which enticed us to try their wares. And to top it all off, Crawshaw’s has ceased trading in town and moved to Sheffield. So now we only have a few shops in town where we will be shopping and one of those is the wool shop on Toothill Lane.
We blame the rise of online shopping as the cause of the growing demise of town centre shopping outlets, but I feel, this plays only a minor role in the decline of the town centre.
We can bang on, again and again, about the cost of parking in town. The council allows us only 30 minutes of free parking, whoopie doo!
As though that is going to entice people to come to Mansfield.
I lay the blame firmly at the feet of Mayor Allsop, Councillor Rickersey and other members of the mayor’s cabinet. When the council moved the market stalls off of West Gate, a survey was held, the result of which was, in my view, totally ignored because the move was not supported by the majority of people I spoke to when the move was mooted.
So now we are left with a declining market, with many traders having left, or the new traders not bothering to trade in Mansfield.
In my son’s lifetime (he is 33 years old), the market has become a shadow of what it used to be.
We have no supermarkets in town. Tesco and Iceland are on the outskirts of the town centre. We have Heron and the remaining pound shop, where we can pick up some food for our weekly shop, but we have a Heron on Ladybrook, which is much more convenient for us (and the parking is free).
So we have now decided to give Chesterfield Market a try. Yes, we will have the inconvenience of travel, but friends have been telling us that Chesterfield has a thriving market, giving plenty of choice for shoppers. Mansfield lacks this choice. Again I blame the way the town centre is being run by our council.
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