CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

Bring me the head of the department for small business destruction

12 April, 2018

Cartoon: John Sadler

• I AM trying find the number at Camden Council for the head of small business destruction. There must be such a department for how else can it be explained that across Camden, business rates have now virtually doubled.

Local parking charges have also recently virtually doubled. Council tax has sharply risen. I am part of a small business in Belsize Road. Last week two hours’ parking cost £3.80 for the limited two hours. This week it costs £5.70.

Last year our business rates were raised by £8,000 per year. Camden has also been busily closing and limiting parking spaces. Throw in road closures, constant road works and the Camden department for small business destruction is really doing a fine job.

This is clearly evidenced by the countless empty shops we now see across the borough. Small businesses need footfall, visitors, access and, in these straitened economic times, they certainly don’t need crippling extra charges at every turn.

Camden will probably trot out the “We’re not getting the money we used to from central government. We didn’t raise the business rates. It’s not our fault” line.

So this explains them permanently selling off vast amounts of public land and buildings (a very short-term and unsustainable solution as they’ll run out of our stuff to sell soon) while simultaneously adding endless extra costs to residents who both live in the borough and operate a small business. No one is earning more money to pay for these constant rises in Camden.

Small businesses both add vibrancy to an area as well as providing jobs for local people. Killing them means loss of jobs, endless chain shops and, god forbid, more estate agents, minimum-wage jobs and the destruction of the community fabric.

PHIL RYAN
Agamemnon Road, NW6

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