SOS Appeal from St Helens Mayor

St Helens' Mayor John Beirne has launched a campaign to save scores of town centre retailers from being wiped out by the economic downturn.

Coun Beirne want townsfolk to support local shops by spending their hard-earned cash in St Helens rather than travelling to out of town shopping parades.

The Church Street Woolworths store and local pie-makers John Pimblett and Sons are among the town's highest-profile casualties of the economic downturn so far.

Coun Beirne said: "With the recession hitting everyone we need to stick together to save our town centre. All you seem to hear is doom and gloom and it's making things worse.

"The town needs a kick start and people need to be aware that spending their money out of town could mean the loss of local jobs. We're going to lose our town centre unless we get the message across.

"The new Liverpool One and the Trafford Centre are taking our customers. To save our town's shops and jobs we need money to be spent in St Helens - not in out of town shopping malls. So don't buy a pair of jeans in Liverpool or Manchester - spend your money in St Helens."

The town centre Lib Dem councillor has now launched a poster campaign on behalf of all the shopkeepers in St Helens in a bid to boost the local economy.

Each eye-catching poster will simply display the message to 'Shop Local Support St Helens'.

Coun Beirne added: "Hopefully shops will display our posters to get the message across town to support local businesses - we cannot let the heart be ripped out of our town centre by more shop closures. I'm particularly concerned about many of the relatively new businesses who haven't had time to build up a solid client base.

"I want the Chamber of Commerce, ALL political representatives and businesses to stick together and work together to get us through this recession. It's just a case of putting St Helens first."

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