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Poll

Are high streets doomed ?

Yes
(76.2%)
No
(15.1%)
Unsure
(8.7%)

Voting closes: 31-01-19, 10:21AM

Author Topic: High streets.  (Read 4249 times)

Nomad

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High streets.
« on: 26-12-18, 11:33AM »
Are high streets doomed ?

If 'Yes', who/what is the cause ?

If 'No', considering recent decline (according to media) do you know something we don't ?  :)

If 'Unsure', what will save them ?


My vote goes to Yes and I lay most of the blame on councils.
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lucgeo

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Re: High streets.
« Reply #1 on: 26-12-18, 12:28PM »
I agree it's mainly down to the high business rates of the local authority to the small traders....the big names have moved out to the retail parks, taking footfall with them. Even bigger names are sharing floor space.

If the council can allow the charity shops to set up with 0% rates, then they need to encourage smaller shops a bigger discount. A park and ride facility into the high streets, like some cities do, would generate the income. There is nothing nicer than strolling round small unique shops, having a coffee or snack, especially at this time of year.
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captain

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Re: High streets.
« Reply #2 on: 26-12-18, 01:36PM »
Combination of 3 factors
1 supermarkets
2 retail parks
3 internet

High streets should now pay LESS rent and rates now

Red Rock

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Re: High streets.
« Reply #3 on: 26-12-18, 02:37PM »
It would be devastating to see the high street decline any further.  But hopefully the councils wake up and lower the rates for businesses, rather than seeing empty stores on the high street.  In my little village there is more cafes and tea rooms than proper shops. 

Sidewinder

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Re: High streets.
« Reply #4 on: 26-12-18, 04:19PM »
Town Centres are now little more than 'try before you buy' centres. Business rates and rents are crippling stores as they cannot make the margins work to be competitive and so many people are now price-savvy and will not pay over the odds for the convenience of shopping the High Street. Add to this restrictive parking charges and the general hassle of shopping a town centre and it is no wonder that out of town sites with free parking and better road links get the lions' share of whatever spend is made locally. Town centres are increasingly moving towards being social centres with cafes and restaurants being the main atttraction - some towns could do with turning vacant properties into housing to make better use of them

madness

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Re: High streets.
« Reply #5 on: 26-12-18, 07:30PM »
People who spend big money in town want to take their car. Councils have done everything in their power to deter the car user.

Nomad

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Re: High streets.
« Reply #6 on: 26-12-18, 08:01PM »
Any legs in out of town retail parks paying a levy per parking space to enable lowering of business rates
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Re: High streets.
« Reply #7 on: 26-12-18, 11:04PM »
I really don't understand the obsession with wanting to save the high streets anyway. They are a thing of the past and have no future in the modern world.

Town centres need redeveloping with apartments with easy access and parking. That's the only future I can see.

Chojac2412

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Re: High streets.
« Reply #8 on: 27-12-18, 09:00AM »
They have always changed. There was a time when every high street had a blacksmiths on it. I do however agree that the rents and parking charges are too high. There would be less empty units if the rent was more affordable and it has to make better business sense to get something for a unit rather than have it empty. People now take cars to places they used to walk to. I take my car as its a downhill walk into town but an uphill walk with bags coming home but I used to walk further than this going to school. Parking charges have recently changed in my area, and we have some low charge parking areas where you can park for £1 a day but not for the multi-storey in the centre of town. I hardly ever go to the big cities near me, it is expensive to park and the shops are bigger with more choice but I just don't have the time to spend like I used to. I prefer local or online.

barafear

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Re: High streets.
« Reply #9 on: 27-12-18, 11:57AM »
Business rates are not set by Councils
Rents are only set by Councils if the Council owns the property (shop)
Business Rates are linked to the rateable value which is set by the Valuation Office.

Yes, most parking charges are set by Council Owned car parks - but if Councils were to offer these free or at "less than cost" then Councils would need to fund any shortfall bu other means - probably increasing Council tax even more. Then it becomes a referendum based on:

Would you rather if EVERYONE paid £xxx for Council Tax?
Or merely charge a "proportion" of people (who use the services) more to park?

Nomad

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Re: High streets.
« Reply #10 on: 27-12-18, 04:56PM »
Shortfall would occur because councils went down this parking charge route in the first place, they saw it as a revenue raiser.  Why could they not cover the shortfall with a levy on out of town retail parking ? this solution does not need to entail an increase in council tax for ANYBODY.

Looking at the charges a lot, if not most, of councils charge well "over cost".

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chris9997

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Re: High streets.
« Reply #11 on: 27-12-18, 05:04PM »
On doing Christmas Shopping on the high street I do think that existing stores need to buck up and improve their staff training.

Sports direct 4 staff at the till 1 serving 1 was looking through labels behind the till 2 were checking quality of some stock again whilst standing behind the till despite there being a queue.

Debenhams 3 behind the till 1 serving  2 tiding coat hangers.

Bon marchae 2 behind the till 1 serving the other changing price labels on cloths.

So staff appear to see serving customers as second to other jobs in these stores .

barafear

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Re: High streets.
« Reply #12 on: 27-12-18, 06:04PM »
Shortfall would occur because councils went down this parking charge route in the first place, they saw it as a revenue raiser.  Why could they not cover the shortfall with a levy on out of town retail parking ? this solution does not need to entail an increase in council tax for ANYBODY.

Looking at the charges a lot, if not most, of councils charge well "over cost".

I hate it when posts get political. Local Council funding has historically been funded by Central Govt (albeit most of the money was raised in the area.....given Business rates are collected by Local Govt before being sent to Central Govt, who keep a chunk and then redistribute some). Local Govt funding has changed massively over the last ten years - and is far too big a subject to discuss on here. However, several years ago nearly all Council Tax increases were frozen for several years - this was encouraged by Central Govt by way of one-off "grants" to offset the cost of not putting up Council Tax.

However, the problem with one-off grants is just that.....when Central Govt policy changes - no more grants for Local Govt and the three or four years of inflationary increases are no longer in the "base" - meaning a shortfall. In the same period, Central Govt encouraged Local Councils to "raise their own income" - predominately from "fees & Charges" such as parking fees.

You mentioned a levy on "out of town parking" - sorry - I don't know how (or even if) this would work. Do you have any detailed knowledge on the subject Nomad?

Obviously, there are "many factors" leading to what looks like the demise of the high street - parking fees are always shouted from the rooftops as being one of the main ones - but I'm sure there are many more.

Nomad

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Re: High streets.
« Reply #13 on: 27-12-18, 08:54PM »
Looks like we need someone who has more knowledge than you and I put together then.
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lucgeo

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Re: High streets.
« Reply #14 on: 27-12-18, 09:19PM »
Jeez barafear....chill out....I say rates, you say rents...you're not a part time councillor are you?? Getting all uptight over who pays what?? The topic is high streets and their demise...which includes many factors including local government rents/rates etc....keep the lectures for another day eh??  :(
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Mr Grumpy

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Re: High streets.
« Reply #15 on: 28-12-18, 11:57AM »
Say if you want to buy a video, clothes or shoes, from a city centre your looking at:-
1-fuel costs
2-overpriced parking
3-non competitive prices
4-some form of drink/food at overpriced levels
5-traffic in and out of the city

Compared to click, buy and then its hand delivered to your home.

So even with business rates reduced, the overall cost of physical shopping will always be outweighed by the click of a mouse.

What can they do?

Make it so shopping in cities doesn't have to be a planned big expensive event even if your not buying much.

This won't happen, our high street shops and city shops are on a inevitable slope to closure.
« Last Edit: 28-12-18, 12:04PM by Mr Grumpy »

lucgeo

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Re: High streets.
« Reply #16 on: 28-12-18, 12:31PM »
I think the biggest loss will be the social interaction. People shop online, in the retail parks, usually rushing due to time restrictions of work, family etc....on the rare occasion I am able to wander down our high street, I bump into people I very rarely see and catch up with them. The stores are quieter than the big retail park stores, I am able to browse and find the unusual or unique.

Mr Grumpy is right....the click of a mouse will inevitably eradicate the need to venture out at all! How sad  :( :(
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1

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Re: High streets.
« Reply #17 on: 28-12-18, 12:46PM »
"social interactions"  ;D

StinkyPoo

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Re: High streets.
« Reply #18 on: 28-12-18, 03:26PM »
HMV in trouble now...

Red Rock

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Re: High streets.
« Reply #19 on: 28-12-18, 04:29PM »
Say if you want to buy a video, clothes or shoes, from a city centre your looking at:-
1-fuel costs
2-overpriced parking
3-non competitive prices
4-some form of drink/food at overpriced levels
5-traffic in and out of the city

Compared to click, buy and then its hand delivered to your home.

So even with business rates reduced, the overall cost of physical shopping will always be outweighed by the click of a mouse.

What can they do?

Make it so shopping in cities doesn't have to be a planned big expensive event even if your not buying much.

This won't happen, our high street shops and city shops are on a inevitable slope to closure
.

Totally agree with you, except you forgot to mention, you could go into the vast amount of coffee shops available. 

lucgeo

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Re: High streets.
« Reply #20 on: 28-12-18, 05:24PM »
"social interactions"  ;D

Care to elaborate  ??? ???
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specialgravy

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Re: High streets.
« Reply #21 on: 28-12-18, 10:13PM »
seems like everyone has ignored the blindingly obvious. OUR WAGES HAVE BEEN STAGNANT FOR 10 YEARS! if us plebs have the squeeze put on our finances, it isn't food and heat that we stop spending on is it? its clothes, records, shoes ,holidays, a new hoover, the good meat from the local butcher etc etc. the answer is not as simple as increasing the wages of the masses as the internet genie is well and truly out of the bottle now, but it is a massive part of the problem. every time the news comes on the internet, rates, rents etc all get the blame but never low pay, maybe because  ITS THE GOVERNMENTS POLICIES THAT HAVE CAUSED THEM AND OUR MEDIA IS COMPLICIT!!! sorry for the caps, it really does need shouting out!

londoner83

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Re: High streets.
« Reply #22 on: 30-12-18, 09:08AM »
Agree. Far easier for government to blame the internet than admit it's policies are at fault.

If you look at all the chains struggling none of them focus on basic essentials. If money's tight do you buy food or a CD at HMV?

Nomad

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Re: High streets.
« Reply #23 on: 30-12-18, 12:41PM »
specialgravy, good and valid point about peoples income.
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The Guvnor

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Re: High streets.
« Reply #24 on: 31-12-18, 08:39AM »
I was talking to someone who owns a wholesale butchers business who opened a shop in a high street near to me which after six months closed again.

The reason for closure was high rent. £1000.00 per week before rates, fuel supplies and wages were paid. The business now runs a refrigerated lorry for which they supply their own power and pay the council £40.00 per day for the pitch.

specialgravy is right about people incomes. 
The Guvnor

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