We are in the midst of a public health crisis which has impacted severely on people’s lives and livelihoods, forcing shops and businesses across the UK to close. The position for the Elephant shopping centre traders was already serious, with over half having nowhere to go, come the scheduled centre closure in July – now their situation is acute.
A survey conducted by SE1 website forum found that 72% of people wanted the centre to remain open beyond July. In response developer Delancey says that it still intends to go ahead with closure on the 31st July, but pledged that essential food and pharmacy facilities would remain available, if needed.
This is not good enough. All the remaining shopping centre traders need support now if they are to survive.
Southwark Council are due to assume Compulsory Purchase Order powers on behalf of Delancey, at their reconvened Cabinet meeting, this coming Tuesday. With these powers behind them Delancey’s hand in negotiations with remaining leaseholders and stakeholders will be strengthened. Southwark should not be helping Delancey to build a development that puts small traders out of business and does not give us the social housing we desperately need.
Instead we call on Southwark Council to support the traders. We welcome its recent promise of £200,000 and now call upon them to release this money immediately as cash grants to traders.
We also maintain our demand that the centre is not closed until all the traders have been properly relocated or suitably compensated.
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You can read more on the 35% Campaign blog.