Tuesday, 25 September 2007

A funny old thing, success

There is much screaming by newspapers and websites about the injustices reaped on areas of London made successful by small, independent shops only to be pulled out from underneath them and sold to big property developers. One of our own, The Spitz, is being forced to move this month to premises new because of redevelopment, even though it helped to create that hip, eclectic, fun mix that makes it a magnetic for all hip, eclectic, fun professionals who can afford it. It's the cyclical rutt of 'gentrification' us Londoners always seem to fall into.

My young (not hip at all) family have just been displaced from one now eye-wateringly expensive area to one less so. I expect our movement just helps to displace another family into another area, and so it goes on.

So it's us as individuals who suffer if we're unlucky enough to live in an area that is aiming higher than our demographic. And it's the people who make it a 'desirable' investment opportunity who have the most to lose, mainly local, independent shops.

We are all for success AND sustainable communities. So what are we going to do about it? Shout very loudly. And we want you to shout with us. If you want your area to stay unique - thriving, oddball, lovely, quiet, noisy, brash, calm, whatever turns you on – then you have to say so. And a good way to start is by making sure the local, independent shops you love know you love them – use them. If you don't use them you don't have a leg to stand on when it comes to asking those powers-that-be to keep your area unique. Act with them feet and that there wallet.

That's what we think, over to you.

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