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DAMESATHOME@YAHOO.CO.UK
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Wednesday, 15 February 2012

King's Road Dying In Part Thanks To Parking 'Terrorism'



In a previous post the Dame pointed out the lunacy of Rock Fielding Mellen and his master Pooter Cockell, pontificating about the state of the K&C retail economy. The two clowns, instead of wasting thousand of pounds on their self promoting 'event' for local business, should read today's Standard and the plight of retailers in King's Road . As one reader wisely commented."Traders have also struggled to pay rising rents or business rates as well as  the criminally high parking charges which are being inflicted on motorists"

The 'criminally high' parking charges directly result from Cockell's outrageous decision to force NSL to issue a minimum of 309,000 parking tickets; 15000 clampings and 9,000 tows. No wonder no one wants to shop in our Borough! Any normal council would have moved to relax parking. Instead, our brainbox, Pooter decides to kill the goose that lays the golden egg. And of course Cockell has done nothing as chairman of the LGA to persuade Government to lower the economy killing Business Rates-hopeless guy!

This is what the Standard reports

Closing time in King's Road as shops fall prey to the slump
 
 
Jonathan Prynn and Tom Harper


Under pressure: 'Rodney Baldwin of the Green and Stone art materials shop said small businesses are being 'squeezed from all angles'

Traders have also struggled to pay rising rents or business rates. Some have been shut for months, others have gone under in the last few weeks.
Surviving shop owners fear they could be next, hit by the "contagion" of boarded-up windows and locked doors.
Bills and letters from the Inland Revenue can be seen piling up behind the glass front of what used to be Pylones boutique gift shop.
Some traders claim its owners, along with numerous others, shut up shop because they could not pay their rent.
It comes in the wake of a report that found a quarter of business owners say the outlook is so bleak they would rather close and work for a company.
Paul Dowling, 64, the owner of Classic Prints in King's Road, says small businesses on the once thriving stretch are now "staring into the abyss".
He said: "It's so tough, much worse than this time last year. Landlords are living in a different age. They are just not tuned into the realities of businesses and it is killing us.

"Just before Christmas, I counted 19 empty shops and empty shops are contagious. Plus they mean people just won't come here any more. Landlords don't differentiate between big chains, and when one moves in they raise the market rents and expect us to pay.
"It has killed the character of the King's Road. It used to be artists, independent boutiques and small shops but it's fast turning into any UK high street. It's very sad.
"The next rent review worries me deeply. Landlords just don't listen to us - and the big ones can afford to have empty shops. We have been in the King's Road for 20 years and this is the worst it has ever been."
Stores including, Noah's Ark gift shop, Chelsea Pianos and Love Bakery are also sitting empty.
Rodney Baldwin, 62, is manager of Green and Stone art materials shop and framers, next door to the old Chelsea Piano store which closed last year.
He said traders were being "squeezed from all angles", adding: "We just don't know what is around the corner. My main concern is landlords. They treat it as a game and just smell profit. I would like to see a more European model, where landlords have to be more creative with small businesses. I also think the Government should put a freeze on business rates. They are crippling us.
"For us trade is no different over the last five years, but inflation has squeezed our margins as well as people getting stuff online. The area has also changed. I've been here for 40 years and there are hardly any families here any more - properties are bought up as investments and the owners live overseas."
Shailesh Patel, 50, owner of the Chelsea Food Fair convenience store says trade is 20 per cent down on last year.
"Lots of places have opened and shut almost straightaway in the last year. Soon the only places that will survive are restaurants and coffee shops."
The owner of Lloyds Pharmacy, Ebrahim Kharodia, 62, said: "We have been here for 23 years. Times are very tough. Even wealthy people are cutting back on non-essentials. The banking crisis had a real effect here because a lot of people lost their jobs.
"It's as bad as I can remember, but I will always fight to keep the business going. Our business rates were something like £36,000 this year. They've doubled and people just can't afford to pay it."

8 comments:

  1. Bleeders Melton and Pewker and their mob are not only from another planet, they are ignorant, and dangerously incompetent.

    What do they NOT see, when shopkeepers like Green and Stone who usually keep their heads down and get on with life are instead publicly voicing their concerns.

    Come on the rest of you spineless Tories...do something to help local businesses just not another fiasco to give Melton Boy a platform.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi All Please support our campaign No More Business Rates by signing an e-petition at http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/29483
    Also like us on facebook at
    http://www.facebook.com/pages/NoMoreBusinessRates/379854918698257
    And visit our campaign website at
    http://nomorebusinessrates.co.uk/

    ReplyDelete
  3. Cllr Cockell leads a council that has become dangerously out of touch with the needs of residents and traders in K&C

    The £4 per hour parking charge that has been introduced is hitting all kinds of vulnerable people.

    I sat with a lady in the Brompton Hospital recently (in for heart surgery) whose daughter was visiting. £24 per day for parking. (£10 congestion charge and £14 meters)

    The family cannot afford £24 per day so she will go without regular visits.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Sad story Hospital Visitor.

    It is very important for patients to receive visits because it helps their recovery

    ReplyDelete
  5. Kensington Resident15 February 2012 at 20:26

    When Cllr Cockell and his crowd are turning up the parking charges to pay for follies like Exhibition Road I bet they dont think of stories like the one about the hospital

    Our councillors are failing us as our representatives

    ReplyDelete
  6. We residents will suffer as the small shops are being driven out by parking which the council could control and business rates which they cannot. It is my opinion that this suits the council ,indeed I think they are doing what they can to speed things up. You only have to look at Portobello Road to see that they are doing their best to destroy the market and the surrounding shops. Maybe they think that a new concrete jungle will be more lucrative for them. It will not bring the thousands of tourists that both Kings Road and Portobello Road do . Who will stop them? Who stopped the appalling waste that is Exibition Road?

    ReplyDelete
  7. The lack of understanding of what happens in the real world outside of their large salaried boxes demonstrates that they represent no one but themselves. They ignore the vulnerable who access exhibitionist road. They will end up putting them in hospital (the start of which we have seen today) and then charge their families a fortune for visiting them.

    They hoard this money under the illusion that its to mend the roads, and improve transport, whilst they have achieved spending millions on prisoner of conscience hewn stone (as a resident I am appalled by this) it is not an improvement its a death trap. They parade their hollow tin elephants, circus acts (besides themselves) to celebrate the opening of this sham, and in their parrellel universe are trying to take money from accessible transport companies and possibly charging disabled people to have a blue badge.

    They are destroying local businesses from Portobello Road to the Kings Road, but then why expect them to understand what it takes to run a business, they never have, they only understand 'take' .

    So much for their Big Society, BS, Caring for the most vulnerable, blah blah. Pooter and his mob care only for what they can get, not what they can give.

    Get rid of them.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Didn't 'scary lady' Mary Portas write a report for the government stating among other things that Councils should offer FREE parking to boost local economy?

    Can we recruit her please, to support local business against our rapacious Council?

    ReplyDelete

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