Barnet’s Labour councillors have secured a raft of measures to help Barnet’s Town Centres which are fighting to survive following restrictions imposed during the pandemic lock-down.
The measures were agreed at last week’s Housing & Growth Committee (14 Sep).
Labour councillors got confirmation that officers had flexibility on continuing to assist businesses with rent relief on a case-by-case basis if it was needed to sustain tenancies.
The following was also agreed:
- a report at the next meeting on the actual situation faced by our high streets and local businesses
- engagement with local businesses on what they need to help them through a possible second lockdown
- the Council to identify all the opportunities for growth in Town Centres
- better engagement with Town Centre stakeholder groups like North Finchley Partnership Board
- to ask Environment Committee to look at funding more cycle hangars to help the green recovery
Labour councillors also got agreement on the following homelessness and planning issues as part of the Council’s Recovery Planning:
- to prepare a lobbying position for Government on extending the ban on evictions to help tackle homelessness in a second wave of the pandemic
- an update on rough sleeping, and engagement with volunteers, faith and community groups who run the winter shelter to develop support for this winter
- a briefing on the Government’s ‘Planning for the Future’ proposal and how it will impact Barnet
Barnet Labour’s Deputy Leader and spokesperson for Housing & Growth, Councillor Ross Houston said:
“Labour have been pressing on action to support our town centres for many years. The Covid-19 lockdown has brought new challenges and change. The council needs to take a lead role in supporting and sustaining our town centre businesses and make this central to our post Covid-19 recovery. Covid-19 has accelerated changes to the way that we live and work and our town centres must be re-imagined to face the challenges and opportunities of the future. I am glad that these measures that I proposed have been agreed.”
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