State of Brentwood High Street is no joking matter

January 22, 2011 7:27 PM

Brentwood Liberal Democrats are disappointed that the Conservatives running Brentwood have chosen to ridicule the opposition over their concerns about the viability of Brentwood High Street rather than coming up with a robust plan to solve the problems that clearly exist.

Cllr David Kendall, Leader of Brentwood Lib Dems who have long campaigned for an element of free parking in Brentwood, last week released a plan that suggested:

  • An urgent review of day and night time car parking charges which allows an element of free parking during the day.
  • The "cash back" parking scheme bought in by the previous Lib Dem administration re-introduced as soon as possible.
  • More help for those businesses who need it with the phasing of payments on their business rates.
  • Lobbying the property owners directly for more realistic rents in Brentwood High Street.

Cllr Kendall said:

"Sadly, the Conservatives, who are currently overwhelmingly in control of the town, reacted to our plans by issuing a press release calling us the "Lib Glums" and inferring that the fault was with us. The Tories need to take responsibility for these problems and start listening to people and having a grown-up debate."

Cllr Nigel Clarke, who runs a business in the town, said:

"Shops are closing on a weekly basis and it is appalling that the Tories think that is a joking matter. It is time that some serious action took place before the High Street is completely deserted. There are over twenty empty shops on the High Street at the moment.

"Things just don't seem to materialise. We should have had a town guide ready when the High Street pavements were finished, but it never happened and is only planned to arrive in March - sixteen months after the event. A Christmas guide was also promised, but it never happened."

View the "Breantwood High Street - Closing Down?" photo gallery.