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PM answers our call and vows to visit Penzance

By The Cornishman  |  Posted: March 21, 2013

Our front page of March 7.

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PRIME Minister David Cameron has responded to The Cornishman's plea, promising to visit in the next few months.

The news has been celebrated locally with traders, business leaders and councillors looking forward to the arrival sometime before the height of summer.

It is hoped the political arrival will boost the aspirations of the town and help kick-start efforts to revitalise our shopping district for traders, visitors and locals alike.

Stuart Simpson, managing director of Simpson Brothers' clothing shop, said he was keen to show the positives as well as negatives hitting our high street.

"Penzance has something going for it," said the businessman, who added that Simpson Brothers had been a familiar face on the high street for around 150 years.

"It is great the amount of independent shops we have and that is a real draw to the town.


"But business rates are too high and so is car parking.

"If you look at out-of-town stores, there are probably more cars in those free parking spaces at any time of day than there are in Penzance."

Mr Simpson added that customer service, promoting the rich mix of independent traders and lowering parking charges were all key to the future of the high street and should be showcased to Mr Cameron.

"The economy is a national problem, not just something affecting us," he said.

"There will always be a market for a town centre in Penzance but the size of the market is a different thing."

Mr Cameron vowed to visit Penwith after receiving a letter from The Cornishman earlier this month, calling on him to come and see the hard work and dedication of local people to make our town flourish and to help get Penzance out of the economic difficulties.

A need for change has been supported locally with hundreds of people adding their names to a petition calling for a visit by Mr Cameron.

Many have also shared their views on areas of town life that the Prime Minister should focus his efforts on.

Paul Shaw, chairman of Causewayhead Traders' Association said VAT is hitting businesses hard.

"VAT is the killer," he said. "A cut would be beneficial. Any show of interest and support for what people are trying to do locally is very positive."

Town mayor Phil Rendle said: "This is very positive and we now need to prepare for his visit and see what he has got in mind to help us."

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