SHOPS in Tenbury are feeling the chill as a result of the closure of the Teme Bridge with jobs being lost.

Sadie Chalkley, president of the town’s chamber of trade, says that things are becoming “very difficult.”

“The traders of Tenbury have to learn how to pay their bills without any money,” said Sadie.

“I know that shops are laying people off and putting staff on short time. There are also rumours of closures.

“At times it seems that there is no one in town. At least there is no danger of being run over.

“Having been in the town a long time I expected it to be bad but I think some people have been taken by surprise by howdifficult things are.”

She said that the priority had to be to get the bridge finished and open again as soon as possible, and added that traders hoped a real effort will be made to relaunch the town.

But she did praise the prize drawloyalty scheme.

“It has been criticised but I think that it has helped and people are quite excited about the possibility of winning £1,000.

The draw for the first winning ticket will be made next week.

Steve Webb, pictured, of Swan Cabs believes things would be even worse if the winter had not so far been unseasonably mild and dry.

“At least when it is dry some people have been willing to park on the Burford side of the bridge and walk into town,” he said.

“Despite what we are told I do wonder if it was necessary to completely close the bridge.

“I also believe that the old showground site could have been used for parking as it is no more likely to flood than the area where they must have spent a fortune putting down tarmac.”

ÃTHE draw for the first winner of the Tenbury £1,000 prize draw will be made on Tuesday, February 6.

Elizabeth Weston, mayor of Tenbury, will make the draw in the library at 10.30am.

The monthly prize draw has been devised as a way of rewarding people who shop in the town during the period when the Teme Bridge is closed.

It will also continue each month until June although the bridge is expected to be open again next month.