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Sandown businesses backing Fight for the Wight campaign

Saturday, April 30, 2016 - 8:00

BUSINESSES in Sandown hope the Fight for the Wight campaign can persuade prime minister David Cameron to take action to encourage stayaway tourists to return.
Businesses have backed the campaign urging the government to reconsider how the Island is funded, following massive cuts to public services, such as beach cleaning, public toilets and lifeguards.
Sandown businesses want the government to treat the Isle of Wight as a special economic case and do much more to give tourists an incentive to visit.
Dennis Woodcock, who owns Barnaby’s restaurant, in Pier Street, said: "I’ve been in business 17 years and continue to invest because I have faith in an upturn in economic fortunes — but we need help.
"Some regular returning customers refuse to come back because of extortionate ferry fares. It doesn’t bode well. Tourists are our lifeblood."
Graham Parker, who owns gift shop, Vanity Fayre, said: "The Island is not a rich area and seaside towns like Sandown need all the help they can get."
Steve Redstone, who owns the Esplanade beach shop and take-away, said visitor numbers recently had been the worst he had seen.
"I hope Fight for the Wight will persuade the government to treat us as a special case."
Steve Scripps, who owns picture framing shop, Keats, in the High Street, wants the government to provide more help for struggling businesses, especially with the additional cost of transporting goods to the Island.
"Many carriers don’t like coming to the IW, which is a disadvantage to local businesses, with the higher cost."
Phil Murray, who owns Muzza’s cafe and ice cream parlour, said: "I’m nervous about future business rates, which will have a big implication on my ability to employ people."
Former Sandown mayor Cllr Heather Humby said it was unfair on town and parish councils, which have taken on extra services from local authorities and the government should allocate more finance.
Find out how you can join the fight here.


Phil Murray, of Muzza’s Cafe

Reporter: [email protected]

 


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