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Councillor ‘right’ to offer advice

Created on 05/08/2011 @ 12:28
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A Welshpool Town councillor has defended the distribution of a controversial leaflet offering marketing advice to the town’s businesses.
Councillor Alan Crowe admitted compiling the leaflet on behalf of the Town Council but a prominent trader, who had the leaflet delivered through his letter box, claimed the publication encouraged people to shop elsewhere.
And a Welshpool web design company pointed out that unprofessional promotion of businesses would not produce results. But Councillor Crowe insisted the leaflet had been produced to help small traders promote their business and keep their costs down.
“The decision to produce the leaflet was taken at a Town Council meeting and I typed it up and delivered it to all the town centre businesses and shops,” he said.
“It was never intended to take business away from the town but to help traders save money in this difficult economic climate.”
Howard Watkins, of Rally Marketing in Boot Street, said Welshpool Town Council’s ‘Help For Your Business’ flyer was urging people to shun local businesses.
Mr Watkins, who runs the company with his son James, said the flyer urges organisations and businesses to use a website for free business cards, T-shirts, flyers and signs – all services which his business provide.
Mr Watkins said: “I don’t want to criticise the town council because it is run well, it is a customer of mine and has treated us very well, but this flyer really doesn’t help at all.
“The leaflet suggests people use this website, when we do those services here.”
Award winning Welshpool web designers Gloversure were also disturbed that the leaflet encouraged businesses to use an online free website development service. “We are a Welshpool company offering a professional web development service. Businesses looking to expand by using the internet need to be sure that they use a fully searchable service that allows for Google rating or their business will not be seen.”
Robert Robinson, town clerk, said he had asked Councillor Alan Crowe to produce the leaflet and was standing by him.
He said: “We are trying our best. We keep getting shot down by people having a go and complaining about things, but what are they doing?”
The leaflet encourages Welshpool businesses to make better use of on-line services such as Facebook and Twitter and E-mail marketing.
“These are only a few positive steps that you could take to improve your trade. If you do nothing trade will not improve,” it says.
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