MP promotes High Street Strategy to help local shops

Geoffrey Cox is to chair a meeting of Torridge Councillors, Town Councillors, County and TDC officers and local High Street shopkeepers from Torrington, Bideford and Holsworthy at the Plough Arts Centre next Friday to explore the development by TDC of a "Strategy for the High Street".

The MP recently held a meeting with the new Chief Executive of Torridge District Council, Nicola Bulbeck to discuss, among other issues, the need to do more to support local traders at which it was agreed to explore the idea of a High Street Strategy.

Geoffrey has received many expressions of concern from local traders about the added disadvantages faced by their businesses in the current difficult economic climate. These include local parking policies, road closures and the increasing number of charity shops in market towns some of which sell brand new goods. It is hoped that the meeting will be the catalyst for taking forward the initiative which will acknowledge the importance of diverse and thriving High Streets to local communities, and enable the councils to work more closely together to promote them.

Geoffrey Cox said: "The health of the High Street is vital to the well being of our market towns and I very much hope that with this initiative we can offer a co-ordinated means of alleviating some of the problems that our local shops are facing."