OPINION: Try to shop local this Christmas

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It is, without doubt, the most wonderful time of the year, particularly for retailers.

And we have to realise how lucky we are in our part of the county to have such a fantastic range of independent retailers, many of whom rely on this time of year to boost takings and make their businesses profitable.

The festive period has been kickstarted by a number of impressive Christmas lights events which draw thousands of people to our towns and enable them to see the wonderful array of local retailers, restaurants and services we have on offer.

Nobody is suggesting that people won’t do some of their Christmas shopping on the internet, or at big out-of-town supermarkets and retail parks, which most definitely have their place in our modern lives.

However, before thinking about a trip to Milton Keynes, Leicester or beyond, think about what you want to buy and whether you can get it locally.

We don’t have everything here, it would be foolish to suggest that we do.

However, there is far more to our town centres than meets the eye.

So, before battling along the M1 or A6, take time to look locally for what you want.

Check out your local shops and stores, we think that you will be pleasantly surprised at the quality, prices and customer service on offer.

Neil Pickford, Editor