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LATEST NEWS, HOT TOPICS & ANNOUNCEMENTS


PROTEST HELD OVER CLOSURE OF NEW FERRY'S CO-OP AND LLOYDS BANK


22 April 2016

Hot on the heels of the announcement that the Co-op is to close its New Ferry store, Lloyds Bank has today also announced it is closing its branch in the town as well.

The news has shocked traders in the beleaguered district centre who now fear their own businesses will suffer as the result of reduced footfall.  The loss of these major businesses follows the closure of other shops in recent years which has included Ethel Austins, Hunters Furniture, the Citizens Advice Bureau, and even the Oxfam charity shop which closed down just after christmas.

Several angry traders gathered with shocked residents to protest about the closures which will happen towards the end of May.  Local businesses who use the New Ferry branch of Lloyds to cash their takings received letters from Lloyds Bank this morning telling them they will have to travel to Birkenhead in future to do so.  One trader complained that as she is only insured to have less than 2,500 of takings in her shop at any one time, she will have to take a member of staff with her to Birkenhead once or twice a day, and shut up the shop whilst they are gone - thus losing potential trade.

 

Alison McGovern and local residents protesting about the closure of two New Ferry businesses
and the lack of action by the government to tackle the issues of struggling district centres

 

Local MP Alison McGovern was shocked to be notified by email from Lloyds this morning after they had previously given her assurances that as "the last bank in town" there was an agreement that they would not leave New Ferry without a bank.

Alison said she had also been in contact with Co-op's head office who said their store had been operating at a loss for several years, and despite being locked into a long lease, they had been working with the landlord of the building to try to find another operator willing to take the store over.  Unfortunately, there had been no other company willing to do so.

Alison laid the blame for New Ferry's fortunes, along with that of other similar local district centres, squarely with the government which disbanded the North West Development Agency in 2010 and withdrew all the funding which it would have used to support regeneration in our towns such as this.

New Ferry was once a major shopping centre with many popular stores where generations of shoppers visited. Today, it is a shadow of its former self with the Croft Retail Park and Birkenhead having grown to rob it of its trade and customers.  In recent weeks, both Aldi and Lidl have submitted applications to the Council to build  proposed new Aldi and Lidl stores just a mile down New Chester Road nearer to Bromborough.  It is believed that these proposals will have hammered in the final nails of the New Ferry coffin as far as the Co-op was concerned.

New Ferry Residents Association chair, Mark Anthony Craig, said "this is nuclear meltdown of a district centre.  Something very drastic needs to be done with New Ferry, and urgently to reverse its downfall.  The closure of the largest retailer in the centre, as well as the last of the four banks it had just 25 years ago will seriously reduce the shopping choices for many elderly people within the community who cannot easily get to and walk around large centres such as the overcrowded Croft Retail Park."

New Ferry Residents Association will be organising an urgent public meeting as soon as the election is out of the way, for traders and residents to speak to the leader of Wirral Council about what can be done to improve the fortunes of the town.

 

 

 

 
 
 


     
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