Winton is one of the best shopping areas in UK, yet it lacks a traders’ association.
A study conducted by Local Data Company, a firm that undertakes research on the retail markets, placed Winton fourth in terms of least number of vacant stores (1 per cent), reports the online news portal This is Gloucestershire. The company found huge difference across the country, from 36.4 per cent for Leigh Park, Portsmouth, to just 0.4 per cent in Stanmore, North London.
The Winton Traders Association was active until a few years ago. However, it closed down due to the lack of support from the authorities, according its former secretary Wayne Sheppard. He says that there is a need for an association in the area.
Nigel Hedges, President of Bournemouth Chamber of Trade and Commerce points out the benefits of having a trade association: “Business owners can get together [and make their voice heard] when something happens that stops their business.” He also says that having an association gives individuals a better idea on the nature of businesses in the area.
The councillor for Winton East, Theo Straton says that he feels there needs to be a traders association as well and that they Council has been trying to bring it to existance. “Last July, there was a meeting with shop owners but it [setting up the association] did not happen.” Straton feels that there is a need for the traders to take an interest in the issue.
However, not all shop owners are keen on the idea. Lee Vinson, from the Vinny’s Trophies and Engravings shop in Kemp Road, Winton, said: “There is no real need for an association now”. He feels that even when the association was active, it did not have much of a role.
Jack Wang, manager of the Feng Hua, a Chinese supermarket said: “I was not even aware that an association existed before.” He feels that his business does not need to be part of an association at the moment.