A trolley good idea to help Stamford high street

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A COUNCILLOR is hoping his bright idea could give Stamford’s high street a push in the right direction.

South Kesteven district councillor John Nicholson wants to offer shoppers a trolley to help carry their purchases in the town centre.

He envisages the trolleys would be provided in the Cattle Market car park and would be funded by the district council.

The cost of the scheme has not yet been worked out.

Coun Nicholson (Con) approached all the shops in High Street and Ironmonger Street on Wednesday with the idea of introducing shopping trolleys.

He put forward his idea to the cabinet in November and was asked to come back with feedback from the retailers.

He is intending to approach the council again before the end of January.

Coun Nicholson, who represents the Thurlby ward and is chairman of the communities policy development group, said: “I spoke to a lot of shop owners and managers and the feedback so far has been very encouraging.

“I think it would be something that can help the high street compete with the retail parks and supermarkets because people would be able to buy more bulky items.

“I had the idea when I used to buy tins of dog food and the carrier bags would be cutting into my hands.”

Coun Nicholson believes a refundable £1 charge to use the trolleys would discourage people from abandoning them.

He said: “The cabinet were quite interested in the idea.

“Everyone on the district council is very aware of the economic situation and they know we need to do whatever we can to encourage shoppers into our towns.”

Coun Nicholson, who retired from his job as headteacher at Bourne Grammar School in 1997, has also written to Stamford Town Council and Stamford Chamber of Trade and Commerce outlining his idea.

He is merging the words South Kesteven and trolley to call them Skolleys. He believes Stamford would be better suited to Skolleys than Bourne or Grantham because of the thriving market and because it is not as hilly as Grantham.

Coun Nicholson said: “Stamford could be the first town to do something like this.

“I think so far Stamford has competed very well and we haven’t been hit as hard as some other areas but we need to continue to make sure that’s the case.”

Coun Nicholson is also planning to contact retail expert Mary Portas, who put forward recommendations to the Government on how to save the High Street, to see what she thinks of the idea.

He is hoping shop owners and shoppers will e-mail or write to him with their thoughts on the scheme, which he can then present to the district council.

E-mail j.nicholson@southkesteven.gov.uk or write to him at 75 Northorpe Lane, Thurlby, Bourne, PE10 0HG.