The Leader of the Opposition and the Liberal Democrat Group on Oldham Council, Councillor Howard Sykes MBE, has written to the Council Leader congratulating him on establishing a ‘night-time economy taskforce’ and asking him to do the same for the day-time economy to help save high streets across the borough.
Commenting Councillor Sykes said: “Our high streets are slowly dying and if we want vibrant retail and leisure centres across our borough, not just in Oldham but also in Shaw, Uppermill, Royton, Lees, Chadderton and Failsworth, we must do all we can to help them. Otherwise I fear that more and more stores will close in the Spindles and Town Square shopping centres and we will see the encroachment of yet more charity shops, which benefit from being exempted from business rates and sometimes occupying premises rent-free.”
“I have written to the Leader of the Council asking him to establish a Daytime Economy Task Force to draw up an action plan to save our high streets based on an examination of the recommendations of two recent published reports. These are The High Street Report that was commissioned by the Government and chaired by Sir John Timpson, and a report published by the Institute of Place Management and Manchester Metropolitan University called High Street 2030: Achieving Change.”
“I also believe we should look at the merits of establishing more Business Improvement Districts for our district centres to support our retailers and leisure operators. I do hope that the Leader will be able to take my suggestions on board.”