May 21 2013 Latest news:
By ALEX HURRELL, Alex Hurrell
Wednesday, February 6, 2013
More than two dozen North Walsham shops have signed up to a bonus card scheme aimed at encouraging people to spend their money in the town.
Cards are being distributed to 7,500 homes in and around North Walsham which shoppers can use to qualify for discounts or special offers in participating businesses.
The initiative is the idea of the North Norfolk Labour Party which says it is a “win-win” idea for businesses and the town.
“Times are tough. Local families face a big squeeze on their income as austerity bites. This is having a real impact on local shops and businesses in North Walsham,” said party representatives Stephen Burke and David Spencer.
But Mair Stockdale, chairman of North Walsham Chamber of Trade, said they had not been consulted about the scheme and she had doubts about its effectiveness.
An advertising agency had launched something similar a few years ago offering discounts to NHS staff.
“A lot of us in the town participated and it came to nothing – it was a waste of time,” she said.
However three of the 27 traders who have signed up for the bonus card project have welcomed the idea. “Anything to encourage people to shop in North Walsham has to be a good thing,” said Margaret Westgate, manageress of The Shoe Shop in the St Nicholas Court precinct.
“It’s a great initiative for the town and I hope it will persuade people not to jump in their cars and head for the shops in Norwich,” said Danny Doyle, owner of Computer Assist, on Norwich Road.
And Chris Bibbey, at Broads Cameras, on Vicarage Street, said: “I have no political affiliation but I think the Labour Party deserve a round of applause. They seem to be the only ones doing anything to help.”
As the gates to the Royal Hospital Gardens at Chelsea opened to the world’s media yesterday, with a frenzy of activity as photographers and camera crews vied for the best vantage points, there was also a very palpable sense of relief among the hundreds of nurserymen and women who have come to exhibit their prize horticultural specimens that their stands were complete and looking their very best.