I went along to the public debate about our local shops last Tuesday at Melrose Hall. There was a reasonable attendance; the meeting was started by Jackie Hall (Hoylake Residents Assoc) who had invited Esther McVey along to contribute. Whilst Esther McVey is a candidate MP for Wirral West, her attendance was non-political, I gather her work involves her consulting upon marketing strategies.
Local councillor Gerry Ellis offered his views about what Wirral Council does/can do to promote Hoylake.
Residents, local business owners, shop-keepers and bar owners attended. I gather that there is a local chamber of trade but a last minute emergency stopped their spokesperson attending.
I took some notes and publish them here only for discussion rather than for a record of the meeting. I’ve tried to break them down into groups. These points are not my own opinions – I’ll comment after you have!
Shops, Bars & Offices
- Empty premises should at least be made to look more inviting
- Having offices in Market Street still brings visitors to Hoylake
- There could be a market for conferences in Hoylake but there needs to be more facilities
- If local bars are not able to stay open later then people will go to either West Kirby or Heswall – adversley affecting the local economy
- Perhaps multiple businesses could share costs and rent a building such as the empty Jon David building.
- We need a supermarket to attract shoppers
- We need more specialist shops to attract shoppers
- We need an upmarket store such as Waitrose to attract shoppers
- There is limited accommodation for overnight stays
- Local churches offer services such as refreshments, halls to hire to various events, etc
Transport & Parking
- Bus services are poorly timed
- It was pointed out we do have 2 train stations
- Market Street parking is taken up by shop workers – it should be kept free for visitors
- We do have a large free car park next to Hoylake station, but it’s never more than half full.
- Car park in Charles Rd is taken up all day by train users who drive in from neighbouring villages.
- Lifeboat Day attracts visitors but the focus is the RNLI and not Hoylake.
- Events on Market Street are needed to attract visitors to the shopping area.
- Could Hoylake make more of the activities that occur on the beach such as para-karting, bird watching, horse riding and walking?
- Could Hoylake have a regular market day?
- Plans are being made for a Christmas Lights display
- Volunteer locals to form a group to investigate ideas for promoting Hoylake
- Local chamber of trade to also formulate ideas/plans
So there’s my potted version of some of the points raised – I’ll correct/update as needed.
But how about you? What are your thoughts, ideas and suggestions? Please do leave a comment below.