A leading Boston councillor has warned that Boston Council has no ‘magic wand’ to save the town’s Marks & Spencer’s store, and says it is time to look differently at the town centre.
M&S announced it was planning to close the shop with the possible loss of 49 jobs earlier this month.
Deputy leader of Boston Council Aaron Spencer said that although it was a shame to see big shops close, too much time and attention was spent trying to help them out.
“I think that we need to focus on these medium enterprises in town; of course it’s a shame that HMV and M&S are closing, but we need to do something different. We need to move away from these failing business models and create a town centre full of cafes, bars and restaurants.
“We need to get people living in the town centre again above shops and get people coming to the town.”
The proposed closure was announced two weeks ago as part of an ongoing restructure which will see 100 stores close by 2022.
Councillor Spencer insists the closure isn’t down to high rent, as some have speculated.
“I’ve seen some comments blaming the council for charging too high rents, but that’s just incorrect. M&S actually own the building.
“I think that we need to leave the past behind, you can buy everything online nowadays and we need to adapt to the changing business environment.
“There’s only so many times that these big businesses can be bailed out, and to be honest I don’t think that they work in Boston anymore.
“I think a lot of the members of the public expect the council to wave some sort of magic wand and the problems will go away, but M&S has announced nationwide closures and we simply can’t help that.
“I’d question some of the people complaining, when was the last time they actually bought from the store? If the answer is a couple of months ago here lies the problem.”