Shropshire

Council urges shoppers to return to Wellington

Boarding up shop in Wellington
Image caption Many businesses in Wellington boarded up their shops as a precaution

A council has urged people to shop in a Shropshire market town after a protest last weekend damaged trade.

About 100 businesses in Wellington, including 70 market traders, closed on Saturday as a precaution before an English Defence League demonstration.

More than 40 people were arrested as rival groups clashed in the town.

Telford and Wrekin Council Leader Kuldip Sahota said: "I urge everyone in Telford to show their solidarity with Wellington."

The council said there would be live music in the market square on Saturday, and a prize draw to encourage shoppers across Telford into the town.

"The Wellington everyone wants to see is a bustling, thriving market town, with lots of shoppers to help boost local trade," Mr Sahota said.

Ian Davies of Wellington Chamber of Commerce said income worth "tens of thousands of pounds" had been lost last Saturday.

"It will take time for that to be recovered," he added.

Speaking before the protest, Wellington jeweller Chih Wong said he was closing his shop as a security precaution and had "written off" Saturday's takings.

Ch Insp Keith Gee, of West Mercia Police, said: "It was a shame to see so many shops closed on the day.

"Hopefully now that it has passed Wellington can quickly spring back into life and we can see the town swiftly returning to its normal hustle and bustle."

Home Secretary Theresa May banned a planned march through Wellington, but the demonstration went ahead.

About 350 members of the EDL and 250 opposition protesters gathered in the town on 13 August.

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