Launching Labour’s ten-point plan for local high streets
Westminster Labour were delighted to welcome Shadow Business Secretary Jonathan Reynolds MP to Queensway to help launch Labour’s plans for high street renewal ahead of the May 5th Local Council election, highlighting our key manifesto pledge of ‘Reinvigorating our neighbourhood high streets to better serve local people, with more jobs and more green spaces to spend time in’.
To do this Labour will develop an integrated strategy to strengthen local high streets involving economic development, public realm, planning, action on anti-social behaviour and fly tipping. Local highstreets will be at the heart of Labour’s vision of 15-minute neighbourhoods where daily necessities, key services and opportunities can all be reached within 15 minutes’ walk or cycle.
A Labour Council will protect and strengthen local high streets and businesses centres, such as Harrow Road, Queensway, Westbourne Grove, Lupus Street, Edgware Road, Clifton Gardens, Elgin Avenue, Kilburn Lane, Formosa Street, Berwick Street and Shirland Road.
If elected to run the Council on May 5th Labour’s ten-point plan will:
- Increase investment in local high streets though the council’s capital programme and use of the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL)
- Support independent shops and other high street businesses through small grant funding and loans to assist business diversification and renewal.
- Support the creation of new traders associations and-where they are wanted- Business Improvement Districts- to give local businesses a stronger voice in their area.
- Strategically acquire shuttered shops on high streets for community pop ups and local firms
- Work with landlords to let empty space to independent retailers, makers and creators, while pushing them to keeping rents at more sustainable levels for existing local businesses
- Keep council property rents manageable for small businesses and community services
- Fight government plans to end planning permission for converting shops to residential
- Examine Time Credits and other initiatives that support the local economy and community.
- Assist local small businesses in improving their website and social media presence.
- Create more low-cost flexible office and work space in and near local high streets which can be easily booked by local start-up businesses and individuals.
Shadow Business Secretary Jonathan Reynolds said “High streets are the lifeblood of any area. They’re places where people come together, and where businesses make a massive contribution. Changing business rates to increase the threshold at which any business pays business rates would make the biggest difference to them.
Westminster Labour Leader Cllr Adam Hug said “For too long Boris Johnson’s Conservatives here in Westminster have been wasting residents money on vanity projects like the £6m Marble Arch Mound putting the priorities of their donors and property developers before the needs of local people.
If Labour wins the council in May we will put improving the local high streets that sit at the heart of our communities at the centre of a transformative new economic, environmental and public realm strategy that will deliver this ten-point plan for change.”