London candidate pledges support for capital’s high streets

THE NATIONAL Federation of Retail Newsagents (NFRN) has said it welcomes the news from Conservative London Mayoral candidate Zac Goldsmith's campaign that he pledges to support London’s 600 high streets. Zac Goldsmith, who is standing as the Conservative candidate in this year's Mayoral elections, has announced a plan to establish a £20 million Town Centre Fund to keep London’s high street economies strong. 
This new fund would set up a £2 million “Stop and Shop” fund to support 30 minute free parking, aiming at drawing in shoppers to local town centres. It is an issue which proved to be successful in Goldsmith's constituency of Richmond and Kingston. The plan would also appoint an independent “Retail Tsar” aiming at supporting regeneration and to identify the barriers facing small businesses – following a petition with more than 30,000 signatures. 
The NFRN's National President, Ralph Patel, commented; “London has a vibrant high street sector, with more than 600 high streets across the capital. It is crucial that we maintain a strong high street economy and encourage more people to shop at the high street, which is why the NFRN welcomes Mr Goldsmith’s proposal for a specific high street fund including a Retail Tsar to help small businesses and independent retailers.” 
The NFRN is urging all London Mayoral candidates to adopt policies which help the high street and independent retailers.