Tag Archives: Ilkley Business Forum

Menston businesses buy local campaign backed by Philip Davies MP

Menston’s member of Parliament, Philip Davies MP, has offered support for the ‘buy local’ campaign to be launched by the recently constituted group of Menston local businesses (see minutes of the first meeting of the group in a newly created section on this site: click the ‘Menston Shop Local Campaign’ button at the top of the right sidebar).

Christine in her businesses woman role; at her desk at the The Studio, Menston

Christine in her businesses woman role; at her desk at the The Studio, Menston

Christine Minchella, who runs The Studio, Menston Pilates and fitness business and who called the first meeting of the group, met the MP on Friday 25 April at his invitation to discuss how he might help. This followed publicity about the group on this site and in the three local papers – the Wharfedale Observer, the Wharfe Valley Times and the Telegraph & Argus.

Christine said after the meeting: “Philip Davies was very supportive and told me of the local business survey he had carried out in Menston as part of a wider survey across his constituency. The major problems identified by Menston businesses in this survey were parking and the high level of rates“.

Among the offers of help was the possible use of the MP’s volunteers to distribute Menston businesses publicity material when they were distributing his information leaflets etc in Menston.

Christine also discussed with the MP the possibility of opening up the direct road from the High Royds development to Bingley Road, Menston, to better integrate the High Royds community with Menston village. At the moment the necessity for them to go via the A65 inevitably diverts them to Guiseley.

Philip Davies supporting local business in Bingley - a new look shop opening in January this year (T&A photo)

Philip Davies supporting local business in Bingley – a new look shop opening in January this year (T&A photo)

Following the meeting, Philip Davies told this ‘blog’: “I warmly welcome this new Shop Local campaign in Menston.  Local shops are a key part of the local community, and it is therefore essential for local people to use them to allow them to survive and flourish.  I hope this campaign will help people appreciate and support the wide range of local businesses that are available in Menston.”

The next meeting of the group, at which it is hoped a name for the group and next actions will be decided, is at 6.30pm on Wednesday 14 May in the upstairs room of the The Fox pub on Bradford Road. The campaign is not just about shops but about raising awareness and support for all the 70 or so businesses based in Menston (see lists under the ‘Businesses’ menu) so representatives of any Menston business are very welcome to attend and give their views (contact details for more information in the ‘Events’ listing for 14 May).

What do you think, as either a Menston business or a resident, of the campaign? Any comments on or suggestions for the local businesses group will be welcome. Use the comment box below.

 

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‘Buy Local’ for Menston?

The first of occasional contributions from grumpytyke

Is Menston following the trend and seeing more and more people buying at local independent shops and buying less at the big supermarkets? I know of one or two Menston residents who are.

The Ilkley Business Forum is organising a ‘Buy Local’ event in November, recently inviting shops in Ilkley to back it by joining the forum. Chair of the forum, Vera Woodhead, says that the same initiative may be repeated in other areas within the LS29 postal area, including Menston.

However, good though this initiative is, going to shop in Ilkley – which has the benefit of a large number of ‘tourist’ visitors – isn’t going to keep the shops in Menston viable. Couldn’t the shops in our village get together and drum up a similar initiative? Maybe the ones which are part of large organisations – the Coop and Londis – could put some money into it.

As far as food is concerned, we have an independent bakery, greengrocer and delicatessen, but for how much longer if they are not sufficiently patronised?

Menston viilage delicatessen Solo

Menston village Fruit and Vegetable shopMenston village bakery shopWouldn’t it be good to add a butcher? Only a couple of weeks ago I was suggesting to Binns in Bradford market, who have a shop in Saltaire which sells the same excellent quality meat at a much, much higher price, that they open a butcher shop in Menston. If they did it would have to be more expensive than in Bradford city, I was told.

Of course! To some extent pricing is a matter of turnover so local independent shops have to charge more. But if they are well patronised then the prices can be pitched  a little lower. Having said that, avoiding the inconvenience of going into Bradford or Leeds (and the unpleasantness of the former), or even Guiseley, is worth a premium. And don’t forget the three excellent Menston free-range egg producers, whose prices compare very favourably with ‘similar’ (but nowhere near as tasty!) eggs from the supermarkets.

While on the subject of ‘shopping local’ I am wondering whether the long-promised new ‘official’ website for the village is being developed by a company in Exeter – just about as ‘unlocal’ as you could get. I could be wrong as the situation seems very confusing. Googling Menston brings up two sites – menston.org and menstonvillage.org. Is the menstonvillage, which looks very similar to the ‘old’ one, the new one? There’s no explanation on either site. However, if the new site is being developed way down south, much as I like Devon I’m not sure they can really cotton on to a Yorkshire culture.

I’m not suggesting that the authors of menstonvillagewharfedale.com should have done it – I know they wouldn’t have wanted to – but there are many excellent fairly local web development companies; I’m not aware of any in Menston (send info for this site’s business list if there are!) but there are certainly many within Yorkshire.

Although I’m concerned about the truly independent village shops, the Coop and Londis should be patronised too, of course, but it’s the independents who have to rely totally on their own efforts, do not benefit from any bulk buying and couldn’t invest the close on half  a million the Coop spent on its recent refit which really need our support.

So, let’s patronise our local shop keepers, especially the independent ones, and other local businesses; they are part of what makes Menston, Menston.

grumpytyke