Rip-off Whitby

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I have just paid a visit to the New Asda which opened this morning in North Skelton, what a fantastic supermarket, the prices of all goods in this shop put rip-off Whitby to shame.

Again our town councillors are looking at rejecting our chance of a retail park on the industrial estate, it seems that for some reason or other the town council are determined to keep our town locked in the 19th Century, again they cry “Whitby will become a ghost town”, they claim a business park with retail outlets will kill off the town centre, what a load of utter cods wallop.

On the front page of the Whitby Gazette dated Friday May 17 the headlines - New mine would be a threat to tourism - this once more reminds me of the supermarket saga a few years down the line.

Remember the quotes, “we don’t want supermarkets, Whitby will become a ghost town.

Now the plaited cry goes out, “The potash mine will drive away our tourists”, I hear myself wanting to shout “rubbish”.

The biggest threat to tourism in Whitby today is the ripping off of tourists and locals by the overpricing of tourist facilities; everything is overpriced from holiday accommodation to fish and chips.

It appears to me that every opportunity to bring into town the much needed jobs for our unemployed is opposed by the town council and local businesses, for goodness sake get a life.

The national parks chief says “I fear £41m loss, what a load of tommy rot; this is scare mongering in the widest sense.

Town Councillor Amanda Smith says “I have been talking to businesses on Church Street and they have been devastated by Wetherspoons and Sainsbury’s - they suggest that Whitby will be returning to ‘getto’ era again”, get a life Amanda.

I remember well over 20 years ago whilst working and living on the Isle of Wight when the local businesses priced themselves out of the market by constantly inflating their prices, tourists stopped visiting and the hotel and tourist industry was on the verge of collapse.

Blackpool went down the same road by overcharging tourists and day visitors for food and .Blackpool eventually got wise when all tourist business owners got together and agreed to make the town attractive by not ripping off the punters. They also encouraged a variety of food outlets which brought the needed competition this brings down prices by stopping monopoly.

The potash mine will provide jobs for our young unemployed, that is what brings wealth to the town.

We seem to have this morbid fear of change. We need work for our youth, we need supermarkets, we need a new retail/business park and we need fair prices we need competition and we need to encourage industry and join the 21st Century if we want to avoid the ‘ghetto’.

Mary Marsden hit the nail on the head with her wonderful write up about ‘Rip-off Whitby’. Listen to the locals, not the national parks chief and town councillors, the writing is on the wall, read it or ignore it at your peril.

I spoke to some of the staff in Asda and they are delighted with all the local jobs that the store has created. I was one of many who had travelled from Whitby to shop - 21 miles drive and it is still cheaper than shopping in Whitby. Wake up town councillors, listen to the people not just the local business community and they will tell you what is needed.