Surrey Co-operative Party branch has highlighted the Tory Government’s failure to regenerate Guildford town Centre. After a decade of Conservative Government, the centrepiece of the new levelling white paper in the Queen’s Speech is an unfunded new power to councils which would enable them to auction off empty property to the highest bidder.
James Walsh, Guildford Borough councillor said: “After a decade of neglect from the Tory Government, the best that the Government can come up with to regenerate our High Street is an unfunded proposal for councils to auction off empty properties to the highest bidder. It’s hard to see already cash strapped councils being able to afford to do that. We need a Government that is committed to fixing our High Street, not flogging it off.”
“The Co-op Party has a four-point plan to breathe new life into our High Streets and Town Centres. We need funding devolved to local communities so that councils and local people don’t need to go cap in hand to Government for cash. We need communities with the power to make change themselves, which will require new legislation. We need a fairer tax system for traditional retailers who can’t compete against Internet-giants. And we need much greater transparency around who owns which building, so councils can tackle absentee landlords hoarding empty property.”