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The Future of the High Street discussion #morning

Some of the ideas floated during the question and answer session included setting up 'Click and collect' centres in towns in a similar way to Amazon lockers. Could this be a new role for Post Offices?

Encouraging people to live in town centres.
Would having a local sales tax rather than business rate even the playing field?
A representative from Stratford upon Avon wanted to make the case for culture as a driver of regeneration, keep large arts based projects to help invigorate a town centre. The RSC investment has improved the town centre's retail presence.

I asked a question on behalf of all the Talk About Local publishers who want to get involved and are already passionate about this issue and how they can get involved. The panel were very enthusiast to hear more as they acknowledge they didn't necessarily know how to set up relationships with hyperlocals.

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SarahHartley ·

Third and final speaker on this panel is Councillor Peter Fleming from the Local Government Association's improvement and innovation board.
The riots clean-up showed that people will come together. Fleming has picked up the issue of car parking. How can BlueWater offer free parking? He says it's not free, the businesses pay high service charges and claims the popularity of Internet shopping is the main issue for shoppers, not free parking. 'My heart sinks when I enter aprivately owned shopping mall and see the amount of things you are not allowed to do'. Bring back a sense of fun says Fleming.

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SarahHartley ·

Third and final speaker on this panel is Councillor Peter Fleming from the Local Government Association's improvement and innovation board.
The riots clean-up showed that people will come together. Fleming has picked up the issue of car parking. How can BlueWater offer free parking? He says it's not free, the businesses pay high service charges and claims the popularity of Internet shopping is the main issue for shoppers, not free parking. 'My heart sinks when I enter aprivately owned shopping mall and see the amount of things you are not allowed to do'. Bring back a sense of fun says Fleming.

User avatar
SarahHartley ·

Third and final speaker on this panel is Councillor Peter Fleming from the Local Government Association's improvement and innovation board.
The riots clean-up showed that people will come together. Fleming has picked up the issue of car parking. How can BlueWater offer free parking? He says it's not free, the businesses pay high service charges and claims the popularity of Internet shopping is the main issue for shoppers, not free parking. 'My heart sinks when I enter aprivately owned shopping mall and see the amount of things you are not allowed to do'. Bring back a sense of fun says Fleming.

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SarahHartley ·

Councillor Stephen Alambritis form the London Borough of Merton is the second speaker. He is running through the Portas recommendations and says she was absolutely right to point up the need for a register of landlords. All councils should be able to say who owns a business premises. He has pointed out that the free parking recommendation is controversial - his own council will lose £60k by offering free parking in the run up to Christmas and where there is a last bank in a town, Alambritis would like to see that being unable to leave. Would like to see some way to waive planning for flats above shops so that people can live there. 'Certainly a plethora of payday shops and we should confront them with their competition - the credit unions.'

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SarahHartley ·

I'm at the event all day and will update this post with notes. To start, the event, the chair Baroness Scott of Needham Market is making a welcome speech. Presentation slides are to be made available.
Session one is a panel. Paul Clement chief exec of Ipswich Central Business Improvement District speaks first. 'We are all here because High Streets matter to us".
Talking about BIDs which stands for business improvement district. Scheme that originated in Canada, locks in funds for a specific business area which is monitored for performance. 98% of BIDs have a 5year term.
The scheme relies on ballots and have to crossover two thresholds - one just a flat number but then there's also a weighted result based on rateable value.
'Town centres can no longer just be retail.' Portas Review supported the Business Improvement Districts but the idea of a super bid isn't supported by Clement as big isn't always better.

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SarahHartley ·
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