Bishop’s Strotford’s Member of Parliament, a former business ministerhas urged the national government to find a way to help town centers survive in this day and age, when many are barely clinging on.
The Conservative spoke out in the House of Commons about the restrictive regulations revolving around planning conditions and categories, following Housing Communities, and Local Government Select Committee Chair, Clive Betts, introduced their reports regarding the prospect of the high street in 2030.
Mr. Better, the Labour MP for Sheffield South East noted that town centers have become weaker, with less people shopping in them, is largely due to online shopping. The problem with this is that shops end up empty, people are left without businesses, and, worst case, villages are left to rot.
He notes how 20% of UK’s sales are now done online, which is the highest percentage in the world. Most of the change, he notes happened quickly, within the past 10 to 15 years, and, in a lot of cases, the use of shops and the government’s reactions have not kept pace with that rapid change.
Mr. Prisk, a former map art businessman, worked with other business owners in Stortfordto think about the future. They reported that they’ve come to the conclusion that, if high streets and city centers are to survive into 2030, they need to change, to become places where the community can gather and do activities with a wide range of uses like green space, arts and culture, health, social care, and housing, among others.
Mr. Prisk, former business and enterprise minister from May 2010-September 2012, is someone familiar with businesses and map art, thanks to being the former director of a travel and cartography business. He says that they need to find an identity for town centers, something that embraces consumers beyond retail, and provides a wide range of activities.
Unlike most towns in England, Bishop’s Strotford rejected urbanization of other locals, with nary a single shopping center around it, meaning that the town center is still the center of everything in the town; business, shopping, leisure, which shows that town centers can still work in a modern context. They do acknowledge the recent report by Betts and the Commission, saying that it should be considered, and taken seriously.