Precinct predicament

This is a street scene that is likely to change  photoconsiderably next year.

However, despite the unveiling of exciting new plans to improve St Martin’s Precinct in Caversham, there was a depressing air of negativity about the consultation exercise last Friday and Saturday.

Some people were there with only negative thoughts on what looks like being a great improvement to this area.

It’s hard to escape the feeling that whatever happened to this part of town, some will disapprove. That’s Caversham for you.

Perhaps precinct operators Hermes should just leave it with its 60s appearance and inadequate parking, then maybe the locals will be happy. But then another centre will open somewhere where people will be more enlightened and it may just thrive at Caversham’s expense.

People had legitimate concerns about the dominance of big corporations (ie Waitrose expanding) at the expense of independents but as ever you need to balance the two and Caversham does that better than anywhere. Waitrose, when it first opened, had bakery, wine and fruit and veg at the front. Scott’s bakery, Caversham Fruiterers and Victoria Wine all opposite, since closed down. Waitrose also started selling newspapers at the expense of Martin’s newsagents, now replaced by Costa.

The last thing we want is Waitrose dictating everything but it has a place.

If ever there was a time to join the debate it’s now.  Look out for the news on www.getreading.co.uk and from Tuesday, May 13.on www.stmartinscentre-caversham.co.uk.

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About Alan Bunce

Freelance journalist Former Community Editor with the Reading Post. Former Business Editor with the Reading Chronicle.
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