Here’s my latest Muswell Flyer article on Independent Shops:
I’ve launched a competition to find our best local independent shops – and I’d like to invite everyone to take part via my website – www.LynneFeatherstone.org/Independent-Shops
There’s nothing I like more than taking a wander around my constituency and popping into some of our local independent retailers. From Highgate to Bounds Green – via Muswell Hill, Crouch End and Wood Green (to name but a few!) – we have independent antique shops, art galleries, bakeries, toy shops and more.
Far more often than not, our independents offer unique, high quality products, and the staff give excellent customer service. Many have wonderful shop fronts which contribute to our vibrant and diverse high streets.
But during these tough economic times, many of our local independents are struggling. Last year a Muswell Hill based retailer contacted me and reported months of poor trade around the Broadway.
The Labour Council isn’t doing our shops any favours either. They’ve raised high street parking charges to an extortionate £3 an hour, which is discouraging people from stopping off on our high streets. Instead, they go to superstores or shopping centres, where the parking is free or significantly cheaper.
I think it’s about time someone started standing up for our independent retailers. That’s why the Haringey Liberal Democrats and I launched the 30 minutes free parking campaign – which I wrote about here two months ago. We’re still fighting hard, pressuring the Council and collecting petition signatures on this campaign.
I also hope to encourage residents to start talking about our local shops by running a competition to find our best independent shops. I hope this will raise the profile of the constituency’s independents, and encourage more residents to try the retailers’ products and services.
Residents can vote for their favourite shops across three different categories:
- Most attractive shop front
- Best customer service
- Best all-round independent shop
There are only two rules – the shop must be independent (not a chain store) and must be in my constituency of Hornsey and Wood Green.
By placing their votes in each category, residents will be entered into a prize-draw with the opportunity to win £100 to spend in one of their chosen shops. Residents have until the 30th May 2013 to choose and vote for their favourites.
The winning retailers in each category will also be invited to parliament for a drink with me on the parliamentary terrace. All voters and nominated retailers will be invited to a big, local event in the summer to announce the winners.
The competition is already well underway. We have had over 500 nominations and it is very tight at the top! Many independents have agreed to actively participate, and are handing out voting slips to their customers.
Please do take part and nominate your favourite shops here: www.LynneFeatherstone.org/Independent-Shops
If you are a resident or retailer who would like further information, just email me: Lynne@LynneFeatherstone.org.
Thanks for taking part – I very much look forward to seeing who wins!