‘Council needs to step in’

Labour councillors gather residents comments on the Market Place.
Labour councillors gather residents comments on the Market Place.

The council should step in and clean up empty shops in Ilkeston, according to a survey by the opposition Labour group in town at the weekend.

Of the 141 shoppers who filled out My Town My Say survey forms in the Market Place, 95 per cent said Erewash Borough Council needs to improve the look of empty shops.

And 76 per cent said the authority should buy the vacant units and renovate them.

Most people – 59 per cent – said they would not like to see another supermarket in Ilkeston town centre.

Chair of Erewash Labour group Helen Clarke said: “I hope that the Tory council and MP Jessica Lee will have the humility to take these findings seriously and act upon them. Labour has consulted the experts: local people, and they have spoken sound, good sense.”

Some residents took to Twitter to tell us what they think about shopping in Ilkeston.

Jason Edge (@jasonedge1) said: “In Stapleford car parking is free for the first hour, Beeston free all day. Both thriving!”

While Lee Francis (@Leefrancis7) said the key was bringing more high street names to Bath Street: “Where are HMV, Primark and La Senza?”

Council leader Cllr Chris Corbett responded to the survey saying the council was ‘doing the best it can’ to improve empty shopfronts, such as the arts projects at Burton’s.

“The council doesn’t have the money to buy up shops,” he said, “I do hope that Labour councillors will stop trying to say bad things about the borough and work with us, the chambers of trade and Erewash Partnership in trying to attract new businesses to Erewash.”

Last week the Labour group surveyed shoppers in Long Eaton and they are now taking the survey to Sandiacre.