An item on the Cotton Bags has appeared in the Andover Advertiser, which has caused some confusion. An update article is below.

As this website goes to ‘press’ householders are still awaiting vouchers, and the businesses the bags.
A list of participating businesses is also awaited for the town website.

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UPDATE ON COTTON BAG PROJECT

The long-standing saga of the SEEDA-funded Whitchurch Cotton Bags continues as businesses await delivery from Working 4 Whitchurch.

£3000 to encourage trade
The £3000 stock of 2000 bags were purchased last Spring and were due to be distributed to businesses early last year.
The funding was provided as part of the Town Centre Improvement Project (TCIP), to encourage trade as local residents would need to visit local shops to claim the bags through redemption of a voucher delivered to all households.
Participating traders are to have a sticker in their window.

Working 4 Whitchurch was the project owner as one of the TCIP organisations. With cessation of the overall TCIP project all outstanding projects were handed to the Whitchurch Association for completion early in 2010. Working 4 Whitchurch had possession of the bags by this stage, but refused several requests to return them to the Whitchurch Association.

Several promises to deliver failed to materialise, but Phil Cooper of W4W has now said they will be delivered this month.

Design by local Guides
The bags have a design by the Whitchurch Rainbow Guides who have not seen their work reach the intended audience. A spokesperson for the Guides has told the town website “I have been disappointed, for the sake of the girls and leaders who worked on the project”.

She continued that they “were looking forward to seeing their idea printed on the bags, and the bags being used around the town”. The artwork is dated 2009 but unfortunately many of the children involved in the project have now moved on and are no longer with the group.

An “executive decision”
Mr Cooper has been reported in the Basingstoke Gazette as saying “I have made an executive decision to put off the bags until the slack period in January when the hoped-for footfall will be appreciated”.

Mr Cooper has been asked to give a firm date for delivery of the bags or vouchers but has not replied. Attempts to contact the chairman of Working 4 Whitchurch have also proved fruitless.

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