Responding as the BDO High Streets Tracker reveals that sales declined by 3.7%, the worst February for lifestyle in-store sales since November 2008, Leader of the Liberal Democrats Vince Cable said:
“Our high streets are clearly going through an extremely difficult time, but with the right action from government, councils, businesses and local communities, they can prosper once again.
“Instead of trying to recreate the high streets of the past, Britain’s towns and cities need to refresh their offer at a time of growing demand for online shopping.
“Liberal Democrats believe we should enable towns to thrive in the 21st century. We would replace business rates with a tax on land value, reform restrictive planning rules, and provide additional support for local entrepreneurs.”
At a local level, North Derbyshire Liberal Democrats’ Spokesperson for Economy & Housing, Cllr David Hancock said:
“The Liberal Democrats believe that there is much to be done to create an economy that ensures that North Derbyshire benefits from a strong local economy. We will work to support growth across North Derbyshire for a sustainable economy – a local economy that works for the long term: which is prosperous, green, open and fair.
“According to government data, 86,000 trips are taken to North Derbyshire each year, the equivalent of 151,000 nights, contributing £10 million to the local economy. Promoting tourism into our area should be crucial for the area.
We need to develop towns across North Derbyshire to increase higher paid job opportunities which are for local people – keeping people working and buying here boosting the local economy.”