We, at Transition Chichester, were shocked to read of the plight of the traders in Little London Walk, and we give our full support to them and their quest to remain in the historic precinct, which has long been an attractive feature of our city.
Chichester, with its vibrant culture and rich history, and a beautiful place we are proud to live in, is in danger of becoming just another generic town, if our independent and smaller shops are threatened in this way.
One of the cornerstones of the thriving Transition movement is the support of local businesses, food outlets and food producers to keep our communities sustainable.
Totnes, where Transition was founded, prides itself on its high streets where eight out of ten shops and businesses are independent, and there is a shop vacancy rate of just six per cent, less than half the national average.
It is very worrying that even if the traders such as Zig Zag and Whitby’s stay in Little London, as they have pledged to do, they will be surrounded by a growing number of empty units.
People power in Totnes stopped the opening of coffee giant Costas in the town last year.
And it is not as though the big retail names are invincible as recent high-profile casualties have shown.
We need to make our voice heard here too now, to help stop the demise of the small trader and the turning of Chichester into a clone town.