With a few days to go to a key vote on the future of Streatham town centre, Cllr Jackie Meldrum, Lambeth Council deputy leader, has been pounding the pavements seeking support for the creation of a Business Improvement District.
The go-ahead for the plan, which is aimed at bringing new life to the shops and services in the area, depends on a ballot of local business owners which ends on February 21.
Cllr Meldrum said: “I am campaigning with local business leaders to get the biggest possible turnout. Our message is – if you want a better future make sure you vote for it.
“I am confident that the Business Development District will be great for businesses and the local people who use them.”
Cllr Meldrum was out campaigning with Lee Alley, a local business owner who chairs inStreatham, the organisation that will be responsible for running the scheme with Lambeth council if it gets the go ahead.
One of the businesses they visited was Clique, an Italian designer wear shop in Streatham High Road. Clique’s owner Saj Kara, said; “I’m all for the plan to create a Business Development District. I think it will make Streatham a vibrant area as it used to be.”
Mr Alley stressed that the scheme would be privately-funded and business led. It will be paid for with a 1.5% levy on the rateable value of eligible businesses. Along with public grants and commercial sponsorship that will give inStreatham £1.25million to spend over the next five years.
The top priorities will be:
- Giving Streatham a smarter look and feel. This will include grants to improve shopfronts and street furniture as well as more trees flowers and plants.
- Taking the stress out of shopping in Streatham. This will include more and better public toilets as well increased parking and better signage.
- Combatting crime and promoting community safety for traders and visitors with wardens patrolling the high street and extra security initiatives.
- Shared and cheaper services for businesses. This will include waste recycling, window cleaning and energy costsFree / heavily subsidised waste/ recycling collection
- A planning scheme to attract better quality and more diverse shops.
Campaigns and events to increase footfall and the appeal of Streatham.