I recently prepared document with many others to illustrate the futility of ‘new shops’ and propose what the town needs to do to look a generation ahead.

The facts below are quoted from established organisations.

The changes to the world we live in include internet purchasing (17 per cent now and increasing at 14 per cent a year) and forecast to rise to over 40 per cent soon, so no need for more shops.

Factually shops are closing, and the big players are in trouble (M&S, New Look as examples).

Hotel occupancy is increasing, which is good.

Eating out is rapidly increasing, and 66% of adults will experiment with cuisine and are passionate about food.

37% expect to go out for breakfast and 25% expect to eat out at unorthodox hours, with 40% going out weekly.

So, that tells you what people expect.

Strategically the town needs to focus on bringing the entire history, sites, museums, places of interest to a central promotional campaign.

Shops need to be destination shops. A place where likely customers want to go to see, touch and try the product.

A destination town where everyone goes to enjoy a coffee or lunch, to stay a day or two, to find that special something, and visit the local history. Not a ‘me too’ little shopping mall.

I stated that the market was probably subject to a charter and could not easily be moved, and so it seems after checking.

But it needs work to make more attractive.

Despite self-drive cars taking over much of the transport (and self-drive buses and lorries), car parks are still needed – Charles Street multi-story. Park and Ride is fine, if free of cost to encourage usage.

Bus stops must be sensible, and the premises in Trinity Street (currently dreadful) adjacent to bus stops removed to give space for a central bus station.

But the West Dorset District Council is about to merge, so no one cares either way – so they spend money on ‘consultants’ who then do what they are told. A joke.