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Crouch End Traders Association (CETA) have started a campaign alerting Crouch End to the existence of a questionnaire about possible changes that might be made in the area..
Crouch End needs some positive outcomes. Shops are closing at an ever increasing rate, but openings are not keeping up. The three in a row and a demerit mark effect of Santander, Oliver Bonas (as was) and Starbucks standing empty, boarded up and fly posted is massively ugly. If you were an entrepreneur or a chain store would you want to open up in a shopping centre with this as a centrepiece.
TRADERS who oppose the Crouch End liveable Neighbourhood scheme make a mistake.
The real threat to their current business model—and indeed to High Streets up and down the land—is online commerce. This is not going to go away. It will intensify and it threatens to evaporate much or most current High Street income. But some traders see cars and parking as vital to their business. They look ahead to next week and maybe next month.
If they look out 12 months or even as far as 10 years, the smart thing for traders to do, would be to beg the council to implement a neighbourhood scheme as fast as possible. To make Crouch End more liveable and attractive to linger in. I support what the council is trying to do here.
Unfortunately, it is not being promoted at political level as effectively as it should be. The current Cabinet Member for the Environment makes lovely speeches in safe settings like Labour Party meetings, but has failed to defend sufficiently the scheme from attack by some residents in wider gatherings.
In particular, last year, local (Liberal Democrat) Crouch End Councillors hosted a public meeting about the scheme and the two-week trial, to which the Cabinet Member was invited. The best that she could do was to provide a statement that was read out on her behalf. In the statement, she claimed that it would have premature to attend and to speak before the trial.
When it comes to justifying a scheme involving some five million pound of public money, surely this is not good enough?