Businesses and shops play a vital role in breathing life into our local areas. The recession has taken its toll on chains like Woolworths and Threshers, but there are areas in the Borough that have suffered in the good times. Big companies like Canon, Homebase and recently Zurich Insurance have moved out of the borough to go somewhere that offers them more, in their bid to remain competitive. Small shops have also gone, leaving empty shells behind. Wallington Square has had several empty shops for nearly two decades. North Cheam is scarred by the eyesore that is Victoria House. South Sutton has another landmark building, Sutherland House that is gradually crumbling with the retailers below struggling to attract sufficient numbers.
Sutton High Street has been allowed to develop without a tight strategy. You know that the target market of the High Street has changed when Poundland gets undercut by the 99p store. It is not all about Sutton. The Borough is made up of a collection of villages each with their own characteristics, all surrounding the busy town centre. These villages each need a solid plan to make the most of their features.
A Conservative Council will not be satisfied with a strategic plan for the borough. We will aggressively market the borough to businesses and retailers, actively encouraging the businesses that residents want to see and use, to come to the Borough. We will tackle the landmark buildings that are falling into disrepair. They are the first view of the Borough that many visitors see. We will ensure that easy and affordable 'stop & shop' parking is available in our smaller High Streets to attract passing trade for smaller shops, working with local businesses to involve them in a sustainable solution to parking issues. Finally, we will use planned changes to Business Rates under a Conservative Government as a marketing tool to give incentives to businesses to relocate and send a clear signal that Sutton is open for business.
Our Commitment: We will actively approach and encourage businesses to come to Sutton and will ensure that affordable 'stop & shop' parking is available in our smaller High Streets.