Following Comet, Jessops and HMV, today Blockbusters have gone into administration and this leads to the question “who next”. Many towns and cities have empty shops and our small shopping centre has a number boarded up and for sale. Talking to one of the local tradesmen the other day he told me that he has to work for three days a week just to cover the cost of his rent and rates before any other expenses. At times he said he wondered why he bothered. Both rent and rates have increased to such an extent that what was a very thriving shopping centre is declining. Now our local authority, Havering, is “consulting” about introducing parking charges on what, at present, is the free car park for shoppers and visitors to the library. Not only that they also want to introduce restrictions on side roads to prevent parking there as well.
The proposed charges are 20p for the 1st hour, then £1.40 for 1hour 30 minutes and £2 for two hours. There are Newspaper shops in the shopping area; who is going to pay 20p to collect a daily newspaper? If you need to go to the hairdresser or the optician it is going to be at least an hour and a half.
I foresee many of our local shops being forced out of business by a greedy council who sees motorists as the milch cow. We should value local businesses; many of whom provide excellent service and also employment instead of putting so many insurmountable obstacles in their way