Category Archives: Comment

Comment: MPs Want Towns of Culture

MPs want Town of Culture competitions to be held in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to give each country its own town of culture.

During a debate on the proposal in the House of Commons, MPs from towns throughout the UK spoke about the cultural activities in their constituencies and the potential for cultural development. Members expressed their frustration that there had been hardly any discussion about the beneficial effect of culture on towns despite the long-term cultural and economic benefits the title UK City of Culture had brought to cities.

Spotlight on North Staffordshire and The Potteries believes there should be competitions in all parts of the UK to create national towns of culture. These competitions would give local towns like Congleton, Leek, Nantwich, Newcastle-under-Lyme and Stafford the opportunity to bid to become England’s town of culture.

Comment – The Cashless Society

North Staffordshire and The Potteries are not the only places where bank branches are being closed, and cashpoints are being removed.

Slowly and systematically, Britain’s banks are closing their cashpoints in towns and cities throughout the country.

The consumer group “Which?” is calling for a regulator to protect our access to cash. According to “Which?” cashpoints were closed at the rate of 488 a month between June and December 2018.

Since 2015 almost 3,500 bank branches have been closed, and “Which?” says that many people will be unable to pay “for goods and services if Britain becomes a cashless society.

It seems as if the banks’ objectives are to force us to bank online and to use credit or debit cards to pay for everything we buy.

Market Traders Can Benefit From Tesco Cuts

Market traders in North Staffordshire, The Potteries and South Cheshire can benefit from Tesco’s plans to close its delicatessen counters and stop selling fresh meat and fish.

Struggling retail giant Tesco, which needs to cut costs by ¬£1.5 billion before 2020, has already reduced the number of products sold in its stores. Now, it is reported that the company’s chief executive, Dave Lewis, plans to reduce the range even further and make up to 15,000 employees redundant.

Many customers who do their weekly shopping at Tesco are looking for new places to shop, and retail experts predict that Tesco will lose many regular customers if Dave Lewis goes ahead with his cost-cutting scheme.

Local markets already sell most of the things that can be bought in supermarkets.

Unlike supermarkets, which are large and impersonal, market traders give their customers personal service and have the time to talk about the products they sell.

Well-Planned publicity and advertising campaigns run by market traders will attract new customers because supermarkets no longer sell the things they want to buy.

Town Centre Shops Face a Bleak Future

All over the country, town centre shops have been forced to close because of the popularity of online shopping.

More than 20,000 high street shops closed last year, and 23,000 are expected to close this year with the loss of 175,000 jobs.

Traditional high street shops, cafes and restaurants face an uncertain future unless the government and local authorities take positive steps to help them survive.

Mike Ashley, the owner of Sports Direct, who has called for a sales tax to be imposed on goods purchased from online retailers, is reported to have said that without government help the high street will be dead by 2030.

However, the government is refusing to impose an online sales tax which it believes would breach EU rules and the “divorce agreement” Mrs May has reached with Brussels.