Laura Sharman 26 May 2021

Report calls for greater council powers to protect future of high street

Report calls for greater council powers to protect future of high street image

Councils and local communities should be given more power to decide the future of their high streets, a new report has argued today.

The report, published by Centre for London, calls on the Government to rethink plans to make it easier to turn shops into homes and allow councils to request exemptions where there is a risk to the survival of a local high street.

It also wants to review the powers of local authorities to bring long-term vacant commercial properties with unknown or negligent owners back into use for community benefit.

Claire Harding, research director at Centre for London said: 'High streets are no longer just places to shop and have an important role at the centre of our communities. When retailers close, local people who use our high streets every day are best placed to decide what should happen.

'That’s why the Government needs to give local authorities and their communities more power to decide what happens to their town centres.'

The report also highlights that in London, just 10% of town centres have a strategy. It calls on local authorities to create an inclusive town centre strategy to give communities more say over their high street’s future.

Vidhya Alakeson, CEO of Power to Change and High Street Task Force board member, added: 'Their call for genuine partnership among all town stakeholders is especially important. For too long, communities haven’t had the power to set the direction for their high streets. New decision-making power for communities, alongside access to high street spaces, are vital next steps.'

For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Adults Social Workers - Harlow

Essex County Council
£32065 - £43839 per annum
Working to support adults and their families who have complex social needs and are more vulnerable as a result of disability, exclusion, or diminished England, Essex, Harlow
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Digital Tutor

Essex County Council
£25801 - £26801 per annum
I.T and Digital Tutor Permanent, Part Time Up to £26,801 per annum Location
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Independent Chairs for the Integrated Care Systems for England

NHS England
£55,000 - £80,000 depending on population size and complexity
Do you have the experience to re-shape the health and care landscape in England? England
Recuriter: NHS England

Head of Governance & Partnerships

Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council
£63,742 - £70,115 per annum
Acting as our Head of Democratic Services, you will ensure that the Council’s statutory functions are achieved to a high standard. Blaenau Gwent
Recuriter: Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council

Consultant – Low carbon transport specialist

Energy Saving Trust
Up to £37,000 per annum, depending on experience
We are looking for an experienced individual, passionate about decarbonising transport and improving air quality. Homeworking
Recuriter: Energy Saving Trust

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how how flexible workspaces can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities, Why local authority intervention is key to successful urban regeneration schemes and if the Government’s challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

The March issue also takes a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen Council's first digital health hub to help people gain control over health and care services.

Register for your free digital issue