In a recent press release, Chorley's Labour council published promising footfall figures at the council-owned Market Walk shopping centre for selected periods over Christmas.
But a freedom of information request made before the Council statement made by campaigner and armchair auditor Peter Malpas, instead shows a decline in footfall at their shopping centre investment over the last few years.
Chorley is not on its' own in this respect as online shopping takes its toll.
Taking the busiest Christmas quarter alone as a key benchmark, footfall has fallen from 1,209,413 in the period October to December 2015 to 994,954 in the same period this last year, a 17.7% fall over the three successive years.
ANNUALLY, footfall fell from 4.24 million in the 12 months to June 2016 down to 3.8 million in the year to the end of December 2018, a decline of 10.3% or just over 437,000 over two and a half years.
FALL IN VALUE
We are now left wondering what the footfall was when the Labour council first bought the shopping centre in December 2013 for over £23 million.
In August last year we reported how the centre had lost £2.34 million off its' value to the year 2016/17.
Opposition leader of the Conservative Group, Councillor Alan Cullens, added "the overall trend reflects what is happening in retail nationally and raises deep concern for not only the proposed extension to Market Walk but existing shopping.
Conservative Councillors have long expressed the view that investment should be going into improving the existing shops, supporting the markets and small unique businesses that make Chorley a true Market Town."
BUT WHAT DO YOU THINK?