Today Sadiq Khan MP officially launched his ‘Save Our High Street’ campaign at an event with business owners from across Tooting, Balham and Earlsfield.
Recent Government legislation has changed the rules on High Street planning; making it is easier for betting shops and pay day lenders to open in town centres, without local residents or councils being able to challenge them. As a result, there are now more than twice as many betting shops on British High Streets than all the cinemas, museums, arcades, bowling alleys and galleries combined, and the problem is only getting worse.
Sadiq has launched his ‘Save Our High Street’ campaign to call on the Government to change course, and give more power to local residents to shape our High Streets and to say NO to more betting shops and pay day lenders.
Today Sadiq welcomed business owners from local restaurants such as Little India, shop owners such as Russell’s DIY Store, Egg Free Cake Box, Nasar Fabric and Prime Homes, and representatives from Earlsfield Business Network, as well as local residents to his constituency office in Tooting, to officially launch the campaign. Wandsworth Councillors Leonie Cooper and Rex Osborn also attended to support the campaign and share their experiences as Tooting councillors.
Business owners from across Tooting will have the Save Our High Street petition, to the Prime Minister, David Cameron, and Eric Pickles, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government on their counters from today. Click here to sign the petition.
Sadiq Khan MP said:
“Tooting residents are sick and tired of seeing more and more betting shops, pound shops. Pawnbrokers and pay day lenders opening on our High Street. We have a fantastic and diverse collection of local businesses in here in Tooting, but I share local concerns about the future of our High Street.
“It is really positive to have local businesses from across Tooting on board with this campaign. These businesses really are the lifeblood of our community and I want to work with them and local residents to make sure it stays this way.
“I know this is an issue local residents feel very strongly about and together we can send a clear message to the Government that we want them to take action now, to help, not hurt our High Street, and give more powers to local people to say NO.
“It you want more power to shape our High Street please sign my petition now.”
Terence Witten from Earlsfield Business Network said:
"I have my own business in Earlsfield and also set up the Earlsfield Business Network earlier this year. It's great to have our local MP taking action; helping small businesses and campaigning to give our community a say on the make-up of our High Street.
"I'm looking forward to working with Sadiq and other local businesses on this campaign"