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Anger as Go-Stow finally closes doors
12:00pm Thursday 17th January 2013 in News
THE doors of Stow’s popular tourist information centre have closed for the last time after a year-long battle to keep it open.
Sue and Walter Hasler were forced to close the centre called Go-Stow despite a petition of 1,600 signatures against closure.
The couple have run their independent business in Talbot Court for three years but made the difficult decision to close after failing to secure much-needed funding from Cotswold District Council (CDC) or Stow Town Council.
A £10,000 grant was agreed by CDC’s cabinet last November to “support the continued provision of a visitor information service in Stow”
but the town council is yet to decide how it will use it.
Tim Norris, chairman of Stow Civic Society, who gathered the petition, said it was a “great shame” the business had closed.
He said: “I think Stow is almost certainly the bestknown place in the Cotswolds.
It’s almost internationally known and for it to have no tourist information I think is a great loss.”
“They were a very economical method of providing tourist advice to Stow.
“£10,000 is not going to provide anything like the service that Go-Stow provided.”
In a statement read out at last week’s town council meeting, mayor Robin Jones said the council did not have a budget for the visitor centre.
“Members of Stow Town Council have been pro-active in seeking a solution which would have enabled them to continue to provide tourist information,” he said.
“No fewer than six councillors have spent many hours of their own time on this and numerous meetings have been held both with CDC and the Haslers themselves.
“Following the closure of Go-Stow, this council wishes to support and encourage the provision of visitor information in Stow although it’s not our responsibility to provide tourism services. CDC has a budget for this and we do not.”
Mrs Hasler, who owns Go- Stow with her husband Walter, said she was angry at the way they had been treated.
“They haven’t had numerous meetings with us, we’ve had one,” she said.
“I can’t believe the town council can sideline a business like ours when we have done so much. They don’t appreciate the value of what we’ve done and how it improves the experience of the visitors to the town.”
She added the website gostow.co.uk would still operate and would not be affected by the closure.