Monday 28 November 2011

Chicken shops and betting shops - how can we diversify our shopping streets?

The Green Party supports small shops and high street diversity but clearly times are hard and many businesses are failing to thrive.

One type of business which seems to do well in recession is bookmakers, with money short and few ways to increase income, gambling becomes attractive. Anecdotally that seems clear from the increased number of people buying lottery tickets in the local newsagent.

There are about 34 shops on Bridge Road/Forty Avenue near Wembley Park station and although many are well established there are a few which frequently change hands as businesses set up optimistically only to close a few months later. A Polish shop was rapidly followed by a French cafe which is now shuttered.

On the corner of Chalkhill Road and Bridge Road the Piri Piri Sports Bar has struggled to attract custom with frequent changes of cuisine. In the past it has offered pizza and pasta and then Indian food. Now Paddy Power bookmakers are applying to open a large shop on the premises despite there being a Corals a couple of hundred yards away and a Ladbrokes on Grand Parade.

There are already quite a few takeaways in the immediate area with at least three offering fried chicken. What can we do to diversify our shopping streets?

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