Look at positives
I refer to the article in last week’s Advertiser on Penicuik Town Centre.
It is disappointing to continually hear and read negative comments about Penicuik. Yes, things could be substantially better but it is important that people start to talk about the positives.
Penicuik and District Community Trust are about to take over premises which will see the establishing of a papermaking museum and tourist visitors centre.
And another article in the Advertiser refers to Crystal FM receiving a radio licence from Ofcom which will bring Penicuik its own radio station.
In 2012 alone, although our French Bistro closed, it was quickly replaced by an Italian Bistro, which is now open.
Also a new pet shop, a Chinese Buffet, a Scots/Italian Diner and two cafes have opened. Coming soon is a new business selling meat, poultry and fish.
The article states “Years ago the community council planning officer continually complained about the state of the shops here” so this has not suddenly happened.
There is no doubt we require a mix of shops within Penicuik where most of the needs of Penicuik residents can be met.
This can only be realised if the residents of Penicuik use the businesses within the town. I would ask that before you head out of Penicuik to purchase an item, ask yourselves if it is available in Penicuik, you might find that you save time and money on petrol.
The Unoccupied Properties Bill currently before the Scottish Parliament will be a useful tool in getting empty shops back into use.
It will allow local authorities to cut rates relief from 50% to 10% on certain commercial properties that have been lying empty for three months.
Included in the bill will be a proposal to give new tenants of properties that have been empty for at least a year a 50% discount in their business rates for a year.
This proposal will encourage landlords to let their properties and give the tenant time to build up their business.
I can assure the people of Penicuik that the new administration at Midlothian Council and council officials are committed to working with the local organisations to improve the environment in and around Penicuik.
Councillor Derek Rosie
Peebles Road, Penicuik
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