Call for action to help small local traders in Pendle recover from lockdown

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Liberal Democrats are calling on Pendle Borough Council to help local traders recover from the coronavirus lockdown.

Pendle Council’s Liberal group leader Coun. David Whipp said that the next few months would be make or break for each of the town centres in Pendle – Colne, Nelson, Barnoldswick, Earby, Brierfield and including Barrowford.

Coun. Whipp said: “What has happened could destroy our town centres. We must do everything we can to stop this happening and to help our local traders to recover. We have started to work on ideas in Barnoldswick and we want Pendle Council to make sure it is happening in all the parts of Pendle.”

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Ideas that are being considered include advice on what is needed to comply with Covid rules, small grants for necessary equipment, schemes to promote the shops in the different towns, possible deployment of staff whose jobs are not required again to act as temporary town wardens.

Nelson town centreNelson town centre
Nelson town centre

Colne councillor Tony Greaves said: “The details will vary from place to place but it is clear that the task forces must be place-specific, and must be focused on supporting small traders. We want to see all the local bodies and groups working together – Pendle’s area committees, the town councils, local traders’ groups such as the Colne Business Improvement District (BID), council staff, local social media groups, and the traders themselves. It will need a massive effort in each town.”

Coun. Greaves has written to Pendle’s chief executive Dean Langton and the council leader Coun. Mohammed Iqbal, on behalf of the Liberals, calling for urgent action now.

The focus of this call is on smaller local businesses – the supermarkets and large stores will be welcome to take part but they can look after themselves, Coun. Greaves added.

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The chairman of Colne Town Council, Coun. Mary Thomas, added: “People in Colne have been working really hard together to keep our town full and successful. We must not let this dreadful virus destroy everything we have achieved.”