A ROW has broken out over the date of Midhurst’s Christmas party after a trader claimed it was held too late last year to benefit shops.
Laura Jandac who owns The Upholsterer in North Street has now complained to Midhurst Town Council who organise the annual party.
She claimed since she opened her shop in 2009 the party had always been held on the first Friday of December: “This has always worked well as by staying open late we have been able to offer our costumers wine and mince pies and they in turn have done some Christmas shopping making the evening profitable as well as enjoyable.”
This year the party was on December 11 and Mrs Jandac said: “By changing the date, our footfall was lower and therefore the amount of money taken was significantly down.”
She said customers told her by December 11 they had already done the bulk of their shopping: “Midhurst isn’t the easiest place to be a retailer, so an event such as the street party is essential for our revenue.
She thought the street party was for the benefit of everyone: “but it appears the hardworking shop owners have been completely disregarded.”
In the past, said Mrs Jandac the shop had involved itself in many town activities including as sponsors of MADhurst, with the local schools and a friend of Midhurst Church. Now she is threatening to withdraw from community life “as we are clearly unappreciated and undervalued.”
“It is difficult to express just how disappointed my husband and I are with the decision makers at the town council.”
Chairman of the community care committee Glynn Upjohn said: “The main point of the party is for the children. For many years traders were rather reluctant to take part, but as its success grew, they suddenly got more involved.”
Council chairman John Etherington said it was planned for the second Friday. “In 2009 it was on December 18, 2010 - Dec 10 and in 2011 it was December 9.”
“We don’t get anybody volunteering to help from the traders and we have even had difficulty in the past persuading some of the traders to provide an electrical supply for the stalls.”
The council is to discuss a date change at its debriefing meeting.
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