10:01am Monday 10th February 2014
CONCERNED Evesham traders have formed a new group to affect some change in their town.
Real Evesham was initially set up on Facebook by shop owner Kim Dunn and has more than 300 supporters.
And at a meeting on Wednesday (February 5) more than 50 people attended the groups first official gathering to pledge their support to the future of Evesham.
Ms Dunn, who was elected chairman of the group, said she hoped by working together the traders could really help the town they all loved.
"We are feeling the pressure on our businesses like we have felt before," said Ms Dunn, who owns Bonk Clothing in Evesham High Street. "I love this town and it's really painful to sit back and I can't do anything about it.
"But by working together as a group we can do so much more."
During the groups first meeting, which was held at Evesham Town Hall, they discussed the ideas behind Real Evesham.
These included working together with the council, putting together ideas for the future of the town, setting up communication with the market town partnership, Wychavon District Council and the Vale of Evesham Commerce and Tourism Association, marketing the town through promotion and sharing ideas and support amongst the traders.
The catalyst behind the group is the loss of trade in the town following the recession and the closure of the Abbey Bridge.
"One of the core topics of the group could be the bridge," Ms Dunn said during the meeting. "I think we are all heading towards a public enquiry, we need to discuss that.
"We need to work together as a group because we can be successful with this."
Alex Miller, of Studio 3 Photography in Evesham High Street, was voted vice chairman.
He said: "I am not surprised there has been such a good turn out. I think if we can keep it positive it can be beneficial.
"We want more accountability. If we understand the problem we can have a better say."
Dave Packwood, who owns the Bait Box also in Evesham High Street, added: "I am hoping it will generate some change and a group in its own right. Everyone wants to get behind Kim."
Real Evesham will next meet on Wednesday, March 5, at a venue to be decided.
Anyone interested in attending should email Kim Dunn on firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the Real Evesham Facebook group.
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