Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Retail rendezvous

Recently I attended a meeting with the Town Centre Manager, Richard Mckenzie, and traders in Conway Street, to explore ways of promoting their street as a shopping destination. Thanks to the improvements carried out in this street over the years it's become much easier for people to walk up and down it, particularly if they are users of the bus station at Liberty Wharf. But for the retailers and other businesses in Conway Street the question is how to get busy people to pause long enough to see what is on offer in the shop windows? Altogether it was a positive meeting, followed by a walk down the street to see what practical measures the public sector could take to improve things, and what the shops themselves could do too, of course.

The same week we met with traders in Colomberie who have finalised the new banners they were given responsibility for designing, and the concept of Colomberie Shopping Village was officially launched. Similar groups are operating in Don Street and Wests Centre, and the Parish is eager to see other businesses getting together so that together we can raise the profile of these distinct shopping districts in town. St Helier is, after all, much more than a single shopping precinct, with a wealth of small shops, cafes and restaurants off the beaten track. If you would like parish support in developing a trader group please get in touch with me or the Town Centre Manager.

Meanwhile the newly formed 'Town Team' continues to work on practical steps that need to be taken to ensure the town is vibrant, attractive, and accessible. In particular, there are calls from traders for shopper parking to be made 'free after 3' and for free shopper parking on Saturdays. I will be asking the States to trial these ideas in the coming year. After all, we subsidise the Island's other industries in various ways, so why not make shopper parking easier and cheaper for the sake of our retail and hospitality sectors?


Tom Gruchy said...

Glad to see you back here again - even as a resident of St Clement it is good to know what the other eleven Constables are up to across Jersey on my behalf - especially since we all have to pay your salaries.
So in general I support your efforts to save St Helier from an economic fate worse than a medieval plague...but I note that 28 September, that newly recognised great day in Jersey's history has been omitted from your diary of events in the Town Crier magazine - stray copies of which even reach this far away from York Street.

Since the Jersey revolters actually marched past the site of the Town Hall in 1769 on their way to the Royal Square I expect that you will be pulling out all the stops this year to celebrate Jersey Reform Day and the birth of democracy in Jersey...

Just a little slip so far as the diary is concerned I feel sure.

Anonymous said...

Conway St is a boring concrete canyon most of the time. Just one row of shops halfway down one side.

It's very dull walking past featureless windows and offices. Not the best entrance into town for the tourists.

Craig said...

Wonder if we should not 'circle the wagons' around a tight town centre. Try and make an 'entertainment' zone embracing the Royal Square, King Street to the central market to support with activities but maybe encourage if anything peripheral areas such as Colomberie, Conway Street and Cheapside to become residential.

A very difficult issue but what resources we do have to stimulate activity best concentrated in preserving the central best - not diluted.

Darius Pearce said...

A nice multi-storey car park over that States department in La Motte Street would be a real boost to the area. A second multi-storey car park built over the Royal Court and States Buildings would also help. Preferably with free parking in both.

Also re-open New Street to traffic and get the cars moving in the centre of town.

We need to attract people into St Helier - free and convenient parking would greatly assist.

Anonymous said...


Today I walked from Howard Davis Park to the Royal Square, passing a number of clocks along the way.

The only clock which told the time accurately was the clock on the town church, ALL of the others (on the sides of shops), four in total, were out of time by a number of HOURS.

How about having a word with the Town Centre Manager to get this matter rectified?