High Street set for change

12:16 22 February 2013

Honiton Town Council discusses internet competition, business rates and rents.

The future of the High Street has been questioned by councillors in Honiton.

During a meeting of Honiton Town Council, concerns were raised surrounding internet competition, changing shopping trends and the problems of high business rates and rents faced by businesses in the town.

Councillor Liz Tirard said: “Business rates and rents are two major problems for High Street businesses.

“Is there anything East Devon District Council can do to help?”

Councillor Mike Allen added: “I think the whole business of high streets is far more complex than business rates.

“I am always open to looking at re-adjusting business rates and financial situations.

“There are various schemes that different councils have.”

He explained that commercial rents are not always set locally and suggested businesses look closely at their rents and rates. Cllr Allen also suggested that councils needed to work closely with businesses and the chamber of commerce to fight wrong evaluations and discuss reasonable rates with owners.

He said: “To be frank, the problem with the high street is so much bigger - businesses have got to make themselves viable so that rents can be paid.”

Cllr Tirard raised concerns regarding empty business units, particularly in Lace Walk and felt something should be done to stop properties being empty for long periods of time.

Councillor John Zarczynski said: “More and more have turned to shopping on the internet simply because of the prices and choice.

“You can go on the internet and buy almost anything.”

He added: “As much as I support the High Street, it would be a terrible shame to see it disappear – we have to brace ourselves, the fact is the High Street is going to change dramatically over the next five years.

“I don’t think there is a lot we can do to save the High Street in its present form.”

Cllr Zarczynski felt things needed to be made easier for shopkeepers by reducing overheads, for example.

He said: “Shopping trends are changing.”

Cllr Allen questioned internet sales on certain types of products, such as a new pair of shoes, as, he said, it is not always easy for some shoppers to find the correct size and fitting.

He added: “The High Street must change and it will have to change dramatically, there is no doubt about it, and we should be there to help our chamber of commerce.”

2 comments

  • Look like a Great meeting, but there is nothing we don't all ready know.. It has been the same since the baby boom of Internet shopping in 2004. Glad to see that Our councillors are catching up. Have you made a "concrete " decision ? Or have you just passed the ball to the district council. Disappointing .

    Report this comment

    Paultamworth

    Monday, February 25, 2013

  • Look like a Great meeting, but there is nothing we don't all ready know.. It has been the same since the baby boom of Internet shopping in 2004. Glad to see that Our councillors are catching up. Have you made a "concrete " decision ? Or have you just passed the ball to the district council. Disappointing .

    Report this comment

    Paultamworth

    Monday, February 25, 2013

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

Other News Stories

11:48

Shady Tree lecture will highlight some of the resort’s major events

Read more

Lurcher Beau, aged six, has spent the last three years at Dogs Trust Ilfracombe and watched more than 1,000 dogs find their forever home while he has been overlooked. Can you give him the home he deserves?

Read more
11:18

Sidmouth protesters among those arguing against ‘draconian’ changes that they say have ‘left retirement plans in tatters’

Read more

It’s Pancake Day on Tuesday, February 28, and we want to know what Devon’s favourite pancake topping is. Sweet, savoury or both? Decide in our poll here...

Read more
Yesterday, 14:42

East Devon District Council (EDDC) has agreed to increase its share of council tax.

Read more
Yesterday, 10:10

This year’s theme is Time, Tides and Tectonics,

Read more
Wed, 11:36

FatFace team donates £600 to local RNLI volunteers

Read more
Wed, 11:27

A dinner held in memory of one of Branscombe’s ‘big characters’ has raised £520 for the British Heart Foundation.

Read more
Wed, 10:01

Honiton’s Royal British Legion (RBL) faces closure after more than nine decades of service if volunteers do not come forward to carry on its work.

Read more
Tue, 18:00

With NASA set to present new findings on exoplants, we’re asking the people of Devon if they believe there is life out there. Take part in our poll here.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 8°C

min temp: 6°C

Most Read News

Useful Links

Family notices
Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Submit a Story
Buy Photos
Competitions
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus Page
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Image
Read the Midweek Herald e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Local business directory

Honiton's trusted business finder

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists


Find planning applications