THIS is my submission to the chairman and members of the Planning Committee which supports the siting of a Christmas market in Mell Square.
I fully support the application, which will not only bring cheer to residents of Solihull but also provide a greatly wanted added bonus to town centre businesses.
The recession has affected Solihull town centre in similar ways to other major shopping centres. The recent report to Cabinet (September 24 2009) indicated a reduction in footfall for Mell Square by some two per cent in the first six months of this year, when compared with the previous year. It is essential that members take into consideration the impact a Christmas market will have on the retail sector, thereby helping shopkeepers to not only stay in business but also grow.
I believe evidence from markets in other boroughs has shown very little evidence of problems caused through abuse of alcohol. In fact, markets I have attended, both in the UK and in Germany, show evidence of visitors being very considerate in their behaviour.
I do very much hope that the Planning Committee gives its approval for this application. I am sure that our partner agencies can alleviate any concerns and I suggest that the success of the Christmas Market (because it will be a success) can be reviewed early in the New Year.
Coun Ken Hawkins, Elmdon Ward.