The 2011 census records 66.5% of Brutonians as being economically active. Our survey shows a slightly higher proportion of economically active people (73%) and a much higher proportion of home workers (19% in the survey, 7% in the census).
Less than 28% of people completing the survey commuted outside the town. If the figures are representative of the working age population of Bruton then about 360 people work outside the town each day.
A large majority of those of working age therefore remain in the town during the day (1,243).
A higher proportion of people reported “working in Bruton or nearby” (63%) in this survey than reported “working in Bruton itself” in 2010 (40%).
Fifteen of the 62 respondents who said that they worked in Bruton or very nearby also reported that they came in to Bruton at least once a day by car. Applying this figure to the whole working population would indicate about 86 people driving to work within Bruton each day.
About a quarter of the people answering the question did most or all their food shopping in Bruton, a d over 80% did some, most or all of their food shopping in Bruton.
Fewer people answered questions about encouraging employment than did other questions (56%, even though it was ‘compulsory’) and several said “don’t know”.
The most popular theme to the answers was the need for more accommodation for business (mentioned by 16% of those answering). The second most popular theme was a thriving retail sector (15%). A ‘Job board’ or register was the next most common suggestion (9%).
People thought that more shops was the kind of business that most needed development: mentioned by 54 people. There was a strong sense from the replies that shops that provided practical goods for locals were needed, not more art or antiques.
The need for more light industry was also mentioned fairly frequently (25 mentions).
There was a strong sense that whatever new business was needed it should be small. Apart from a couple of people who thought that there should be a supermarket, there was no appetite for large businesses coming to Bruton.
The cost of and lack of premises was the biggest obstacle to starting a business (89 mentions).
Other obstacles mentioned were transport (35 mentions) high rates and costs (22 mentions) parking (11) and slow broadband (10).
There was no consensus about whether there was sufficient accommodation for each of the various kinds of business in the town.
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