ARGUS COMMENT: High streets need help
12:40pm Monday 2nd September 2013 in News
IT IS not as if we needed another report into the state of Britain’s high street to reveal how bad it really is.
The clues are there in almost every town and city across the country.
But this week retail expert Bill Grimsey will publish a review he has carried out and it paints a bleak picture.
The number of empty shop units is growing at an alarming rate leaving many town and city centres looking sad and unloved.
Newport city centre’s problems are well documented but this latest report is a reminder that our city is not alone and its problems are mirrored up and down the country.
There are exceptions of course and the common factor seems to be that they are in towns and cities where there has been a significant amount of engagement between the local authority, local business community and residents.
Mr Grimsey argues that local authorities need to do more to support the high street in lower business rates, free parking and council funding for small businesses.
All well and good. But we believe a bit unrealistic in the current economic climate.
We set out at the weekend the financial pressures Newport city council is facing over the next few years in continuing to provide key services.
While the local authority has a part to play in helping out the high street it cannot do it alone
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