Liberal Democrat Leader Nick Clegg will today set out plans to revitalise Britain’s high streets, ensure the future of the Post Office, and help small businesses establish and grow in a fairer marketplace.
Nick Clegg will be joined by Ed Fordham, PPC for Hampstead and Kilburn, to launch the policy document Vibrant Local High Streets while visiting businesses in Kilburn on Friday morning.
The document includes proposals to:
- Encourage the development of a PostBank and free the Post Office from the Royal Mail to enable it to develop new business
- Introduce a local competition test for all planning applications for new retail developments to establish a fairer balance between local independent stores and large supermarkets
- Establish a system of Local Enterprise Funds and regional stock exchanges to ensure small businesses get access to cost effective equity that meets their needs
Commenting, Nick Clegg said:
“Thriving high streets are at the heart of local communities.
“But it has been our high streets that have borne the brunt of this recession, with boarded up shops scarring towns and villages across Britain.
“Ministers have overseen the rapid decline of the post office network leading to even fewer people visiting the local shops.
“The Government has tilted the planning system in favour of the haphazard expansion of ubiquitous supermarkets at the expense of hard-pressed independent stores.
“The financial crisis has exposed Labour and the Conservatives’ folly of being entirely dependent on the City of London. The Liberal Democrats understand that it will be small businesses that are key to building a healthy and balanced economy.”