Denton a village in South Norfolk, England

Community Shop Scheme

During the year Parish Councillor Peter Hill organised a project to establish whether a Community Shop might be set up in Denton. Following a public meeting held on 13th September a steering group was formed to move the project forward.

In April Peter sent out about 150 questionnaires to households in Denton of which 115 were returned. The reason for the shortfall being that nobody was in when they were collected. Some collectors were more persistent than others. The first question enquired how frequently households would use a Community Shop. 108 households answered this question and 54% said they would use it at least once per week and a further 44% said they would us it occasionally. Answers to another question indicated that 72% felt it was at least reasonably important.

These results indicated it was worth taking matters one step forward and accordingly Peter arranged for Peter Smith of the Norfolk Rural Community Council to talk to the meeting on 13 September.

Mr Smith has had experience of setting up a number of Community Shops including a particularly successful one at Great Ryburgh, 4 miles from Fakenham. He also talked about other Community Shops at Mileham and Itteringham. In each case the situation was different because they were responding and adapting to different markets. He dispelled some of the myths including that prices would be too expensive and that Tesco were the main competition. He considered neither were true.

It was decided to form a steering group from volunteers at the meeting and others who had volunteered on the questionnaire. The steering group considered what type of Community Shop would be best for Denton and the surrounding area, size of premises and possible locations amongst other matters. They would then make recommendations. As part of this process the group looked at established Community Shops.

However a major stumbling block for the scheme was the lack of a suitable premises for the shop. It was eventually decided to put the scheme on hold until a location could be identified.

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