The Labour Party Annual Conference 2023
SME4Labour and Kanda Consulting fringe: Future of the High Street: How Labour Can Rejuvenate Britain’s Town Centres
🗓 Date: Tuesady, 10 October 2023
⏳ Time: 17:00
📍Location: SME4Labour POD (Meeting Room 22), ACC Liverpool, Kings Dock Street, Liverpool, England, L3 4FP
SME4Labour and Kanda Consulting fringed: Future of the High Street: How Labour Can Rejuvenate Britain’s Town Centres with Rushanara Ali MP; Cllr Adam Hug, Leader of Westminster City Council; Cllr Kemi Akinola, Deputy Leader of Wandsworth Council; Morwenna Hall, COO and Partner of Argent and Partner of Related Argent; Mark Robinson, High Street Task Force and Louise Jones, Labour PPC for North East Derbyshire. This panel discussion was chaired by Karen Alcock, Managing Director and Founder of Kanda Consulting.
Karen Alcock initiated the panel by highlighting the importance of the government, business investors, and labour governments coming forward and starting to reinvigorate our high streets after a really difficult time, post-COVID, economic downturn.
Cllr Adam Hug emphasized the significant responsibilities held by Westminster, including the iconic shopping streets such as Oxford Street. He acknowledged the challenges faced in managing a long-delayed program while balancing the diverse needs of local residents and businesses. He highlighted ongoing efforts to introduce greener and improved aspects to shopping streets in the private sector. Adam also expressed a commitment to enhancing traditional high streets, recognizing the evolving opportunities for revitalization. Westminster’s dedication extends to creating greener and more accessible spaces and incorporating resident input for informed development.
Morwenna Hall emphasized the multifaceted nature of high streets, beyond their retail aspect. She highlighted the importance of creating a thriving community and enhancing health and well-being through accessible services and amenities. Morwenna’s focus extends to measuring the quality of life improvements for the town’s residents, emphasizing social value alongside financial perspectives.
Louise Jones emphasized that a thriving High Street goes beyond retail, underlining the importance of diverse services. She stressed the significance of fostering collaboration among High Street business owners and local councils, who can provide leadership and support. Louise also addressed the challenges posed by limited public transport access to High Streets, underscoring the vital role of connectivity. Finally, she highlighted the importance of ensuring access to essential skills for the community.
In summary, the panel discussion, examined the prospects for rejuvenating Britain’s town centers, focusing on “The Future of the High Street.” It emphasized the need for a collaborative approach involving government, business investors, and labour governments to revitalize high streets in the post-COVID economic landscape. Speakers emphasized the multifaceted role of high streets, highlighting their importance in fostering community, enhancing social value, and improving connectivity. The discussion showcased a shared commitment to improving the quality of life for residents and reinvigorating town centres.