We all love our local high streets but many of these local shopping centres are facing stiff competition both from the internet but also larger retail precincts like the Mall. I want to see more targeted support into these vital neighbourhood amenities and this will require a combination of both local and national effort.
Nationally I believe we need a root and branch reform of our business rate systems so that local shops aren’t at a disadvantage against the online giants. Locally we also need to ensure CCTV cameras help people feel safe when they are at the shops. We also need to ensure we have the right level of on and off street parking to boost trade by improving access and above all the area needs to look and feel welcoming for the community.
For far too long many of these areas have felt ignored and neglected. That needs to change.