Here are the results of the Springboard footfall measurement for week 39 2018:
Yet another decline and so it goes on, accommodation providers are registering there concerns no doubt town retailers are reporting the same as we are coming into the Autumn /Winter months.
Dartmouth businesses had the opportunity to resurrect the once powerful Chamber of Trade that used to a long time ago have a powerful voice and they have chosen not to support it and Paul Reach offered to take the baton and run with it, I greatly admire and respect Paul but sadly he still seems to me to be the whipping boy over the BID failure, that’s my personal view and not one of Dartmouth Town Council.
I appreciate your comments Steve but lets not start a bromance rumour! I am happy that at least one Councillor is prepared to recognise that there might be a problem with visitor numbers to Dartmouth. It makes a change from those Councillors who seem to be more concerned about challenging the accuracy of the footfall cameras. If you walk the streets of Dartmouth regularly you don’t need cameras to know that we have had reduced visitor levels this year, despite the exchange rate increasing stacations (St Ives has had a 20% increase in visitors for instance) and the weather being better than it was in Spain.
Sadly you are right about my whipping boy status over the BID but that does not bother me, I know it was the right idea for Dartmouth that failed in the execution. What does bother me is that no-one is responding to the challenge facing the town as a result of this footfall drop. With less visitor cash coming into our economy then there will be less jobs, less investment and a continued decline in the town.
Please can you persuade your colleagues in the Town Council and District/County Council to devise a strategy to revitalise the marketing of the town as a great place to holiday, and to invest. That is what brought us here 20 years ago and it is very sad to see this vibrancy being lost without a response from either the businesses or the local authorities. You are also correct in expressing your concerns about the collapse of the Chamber of Trade, or Dartmouth Business Forum as the members voted to call it. There is now no voice of Businesses i Dartmouth and they will be worse off because of it.
I have asked our district/county councillors for access to more data about visitor levels to the town with little success so far. Traffic counters on the roads collect data all the time, the car park volumes are another source of useful data, ferry passenger levels could also paint a more complete picture, but I have so far had no success in obtaining this data. Successful concerns are successful because they gather and analyse data about their businesses and respond early to any challenges that may arise. So far Dartmouth has not shown a willingness to do that.