Last Chance To Respond To Council Survey on Chiswick Retail
Councillor urges residents to have their say on future of town centre
Hounslow Council's consultation on the future of Chiswick Town Centre is due to end this Sunday 8 November.
The council says it want to invite the local community to have their say on the future of the main shopping district.
The aim is to ‘reimagine’ the future of the area and seek opportunities to increase domestic tourism, improve the variety of local offerings, support businesses and deliver more housing.
Cllr Jo Biddolph has asked for an extension to the consultation deadline arguing that traders are currently distracted by having to deal with the second lockdown but the last date for responses has already been put back from 18 October.
The council says that borough town centres have always been vibrant places with thriving shops and very few vacant units although Chiswick has been blighted by empty units for some time.
Earlier this year a group of Chiswick councillors produced a detailed report on the local high street which argued that high rent and rates as well as misguided council policies had increased the challenges facing local retailers.
Since the report was published opposition councillors feel that a number of the measures implemented by the council such as the reduction of access on roads such as Devonshire Road and Turnham Green Terrace as well as the conversion of parking bays for blue badge use only, have further negatively impacted retail trade in the centre of Chiswick.
The survey includes an interactive map offering a number of options for providing input, including the ability to click on specific areas of the town centre and provide detailed comments about the area.
Cllr Biddolph says, "The consultation is being conducted via the now widely discredited and criticised Commonplace platform (accused of skewed questioning and with guidance to clients that it knows how to ask questions to get the answers needed).
"Respondents need to comment in the open comments boxes, not just pick from the selected options provided by LBH, and they need to like responses from others that they agree with. LBH weights comments by the number of likes, etc, a suggestion attracts and that is why it has now approved a proposal to instal many more LTNs in Chiswick. "
Councillor Steve Curran, Leader of Hounslow Council and Cabinet Member for Corporate Strategy, Planning and Regeneration, said at the time of the launch of the consultation, “We want to make sure that our town centres are destinations of choice for the local communities they serve, and that they retain their own unique identities while continuing to support social and economic development for everyone in our borough."
The consultation is currently due to close on Sunday 8 November.
November 8, 2020