Support for London’s high streets on the agenda

18 September 2012

London’s 197 high streets are experiencing mixed fortunes, with some thriving while others struggle.  What more can be done to boost local trade and bring empty shops back into use in the parts of the capital that need it most? 

The Assembly’s Economy Committee will tomorrow afternoon hold its first public meeting about measures to support the capital’s struggling local high streets[1]

Government figures[2] show shop vacancy rates have been rising nationally since the recession hit in 2008 and data[3] from last year showed one in ten shops in the capital stood empty.

There will be an opportunity for members of the public to share their experiences before Committee Members question the following guests:

From 2pm: high street innovation and management

  • Julian Dobson, Director, Urban Pollinators
  • Jacquie Reilly, BID Director, Association of Town Centre Management
  • Andrew Cribb, Chief Executive, 3space.

From approx 3.30pm: issues facing retailers

  • Dan Morgan, Local Government and Taxation Policy Adviser, British Retail Consortium
  • Matthew Jaffa, Senior Development Manager, Federation of Small Businesses
  • Edward Cooke, Director of Policy and Public Affairs, British Council of Shopping Centres
  • David Abramson, Managing Director, Rent Reform

The meeting will take place on Wednesday, 19 September 2012 from 2pm in Committee Room 3 at City Hall (The Queen’s Walk, London SE1).   Media and members of the public are invited to attend.   The meeting can also be viewed via webcast.

Site visit: Thursday, 20 September

Economy Committee Members will speak to shop keepers, local traders and businesses and shoppers about issues facing high streets[4] in:

  • 11.30am – North Finchley
  • 2pm– Camden Town

Media are invited to attend.  Please contact Mark Demery on 020 7983 5769 in advance for more information or to confirm your attendance.

Notes for editors:

  1. More information about the empty shops investigation
  2. Understanding High Street Performance, Genecon LLP and Partners, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, 2011.
  3. End of Year Vacancy Report 2011, Local Data Company, 2012.
  4. More information about the site visits.  This is the Committee’s second site visit on this issue – last week they visited Peckham, Stratford, Hackney and Haringey.  Evidence gathered will inform the Committee’s next public meeting on 6 November.
  5. As part of the review, the Committee is asking high street shop owners to send in their views on the challenges they are facing, and what support is needed to keep high streets thriving and diverse.  Please email economycommittee@london.gov.uk  The closing date for submissions is 30 September 2012.
  6. Andrew Dismore AM, Chair of the Economy Committee, is available for interview.  See contact details below.
  7. As well as investigating issues that matter to Londoners, the London Assembly acts as a check and a balance on the Mayor.

For more details, please contact Lisa Moore in the Assembly Media Office on 020 7983 4228/4283.  For out of hours media enquiries please call 0207 983 4000 and ask for the Assembly duty press officer.  Non-media enquiries should be directed to the Public Liaison Unit, Greater London Authority, on 020 7983 4100.