Thou­sands fight to Save Our Shops

Evening Standard - West End Final Extra - ES Homes and Property - - News -

BUSI­NESS rate hikes threaten to de­stroy some of Lon­don’s best-loved high streets, say cam­paign­ers. In Is­ling­ton more than 13,000 peo­ple have signed a pe­ti­tion call­ing for next month’s in­creases to be de­layed be­cause of the “dev­as­tat­ing” im­pact on small in­de­pen­dent shops.

Cam­paign­ers claim many smaller busi­nesses in streets such as Up­per Street and Cam­den Pas­sage — both fa­mous for quirky, one-off shops — will face clo­sure as rates are ad­justed to re­flect higher lo­cal prop­erty val­ues. Is­ling­ton shop­keep­ers face rises of up to 45 per cent, among the big­gest in the UK.

The pe­ti­tion, raised by the Is­ling­ton Cham­ber of Com­merce and the An­gel Busi­ness Im­prove­ment District warns that in­de­pen­dent shops will be driven out of busi­ness by the move, leav­ing VISIT

for de­tails of our usual pro­mo­tion rules. When you re­spond to pro­mo­tions, of­fers or com­pe­ti­tions, the Lon­don Evening Stan­dard and its sis­ter com­pa­nies may con­tact you with rel­e­vant of­fers and ser­vices that may be of in­ter­est. Please give your mo­bile num­ber and/or email ad­dress if you would like to re­ceive such of­fers by text or email.

Ed­i­to­rial: 020 3615 2524 Ad­ver­tise­ment man­ager: Ann Fi­nan Ad­ver­tis­ing: 020 3615 0266 Homes & Prop­erty, North­cliffe House, 2 Derry Street, Kens­ing­ton, Lon­don W8 5TT. empty premises across the bor­ough.The groups want the in­crease frozen un­til af­ter Bri­tain has left the Euro­pean Union. As a “Plan B” the pe­ti­tion asks Chan­cel­lor Philip Ham­mond, who to­day de­liv­ered his first spring Bud­get, to of­fer small busi­nesses more govern­ment as­sis­tance to help pay the higher bills.

Coun­cil­lor Asima Shaikh, who helped de­liver the pe­ti­tion to the Trea­sury, said the new rates could have a “de­struc­tive ef­fect” on high streets, forc­ing smaller firms from cafés and pubs to bou­tiques and book­shops out of busi­ness.

Chris­tine Lovett, chief ex­ec­u­tive of the An­gel Busi­ness Im­prove­ment District, said: “Our high streets are the lifeblood of our com­mu­ni­ties. They are also places where fledg­ling busi­nesses cut their teeth and grow.

“As it is, our vi­brant high streets are threat­ened by on­line shop­ping, high rents and the un­cer­tainty of Brexit. The Govern­ment’s huge busi­ness rate rises could be the fi­nal straw for our smaller in­de­pen­dents.”

The Govern­ment has based next month’s bills on the reval­u­a­tion of prop­er­ties through­out Bri­tain. Across Lon­don, where val­ues have rock­eted, higher rates will in­evitably ap­ply.

See Ruth Bloom­field’s full story: home­sand­prop­erty.co.uk

home­sand­prop­erty.co.uk/ rules

Feel­ing threat­ened: Cam­den Pas­sage in Is­ling­ton, famed for quirky one-off shops

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