Cautious approach needed for stalls
HAVING seen Keith Rossiter's article on January 12, and your supportive editorial on the arrival of stalls on the Waterfront, I write to urge caution. I have seen and read the proposed plans by the Waterfront Partnership and am alarmed by the detail. Of the 16 stalls that are being offered by the council, the first five (from West Hoe Park up to the Dome) are designated as 'hot food vendors'. No crafts, no artists, no local produce, no fresh fish, no strawberries, no walking tour pick up/drop off... just burger bars.
This will not produce the variety and vibrancy that Chris Arscott, Chair of the Waterfront partnership, is forecasting. It will be a threat to the five businesses already selling drinks and food all year round in that area. These businesses, who pay the Waterfront Partnership BID levy, will be undermined by the very organisation that is supposed to be helping them attract visitors.
Finally Mr Arscott's comment that the increased footfall will make the place safer is puzzling. This is West Hoe, not the West Bank in Gaza.
I fully agree with the idea of market stalls on the Waterfront. Please make them attractive, individual and a complement, not a competition, to the small food outlets already struggling for business on the Waterfront.
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