The future of our local high streetsPosted: October 17, 2013
On Thursday 16th October I made a speech in Parliament arguing for the government to do more to encourage new businesses to open up on our high streets, bringing with them new jobs and potential growth for the local economy. There are 5 town centres in Corby and East Northamptonshire, as well as many village high streets. Corby high street welcomed over 8 million shoppers last year and is continuing to grow, with strong support from the council.
Times are really tough though for our High Streets. We all know that shopping habits are changing due to the internet, but there are other critical factors affecting our town centres. Living standards have been falling in 39 out of the 40 months that David Cameron has been in office, and that is having a huge effect on high-street spend. Currently, one in seven shops are empty and many others are being turned into yet more payday lenders, betting shops and takeaways
As high streets struggle, many small businesses are struggling to pay business rates that sometimes are higher than their rents. I do not think makes sense and this is why I am pleased that Labour have pledged to cut business rates to 1.5 million small businesses if we win the general election in 2015. This will give our local high streets and town centres a much needed boost.
You can read my speech here.