Brent and Harrow
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Sadiq Khan Mayor of London
Navin Shah GLA Brent & Harrow
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Navin's News: Alperton Station

Demonstration to save small shops at Alperton Station

As the ‘Small Business Saturday’ was promoted and celebrated in Brent and the rest  of the Country, demonstrators gathered outside the Alperton Station to save the much loved local shops who are threatened with permanent closure by Transport for London (TfL). The demonstration was organised by the shopkeepers and I supported this, along with the local Councillors and Barry Gardiner MP.  

On Saturday a large number of local customers, commuters and shopkeepers gathered outside the 4 shop units to demonstrate against the action of TfL who have served notice to the shopkeepers terminating their leases on 19th of December. This will enable TfL to enlarge the units, remove the clutter and refurbish the station. TfL plans to invite tenders in open market when the proposed works are competed sometime in spring next year. 

Alperton Demo .jpg

The plan coincides Brent Councils proposals for regeneration of the area and will see improvement of the forecourt of the station.

It is understandable that TfL wishes to refurbish the station and improve the condition and make it visually attractive by removing the clutter. But the controversy is about their proposal to convert the shop units from existing four small shops to two large shop units. The controversy is also about the entire process and in the way TfL has treated the shop keepers - some of whom have been running their businesses well over twenty years.

The process by TfL to promote refurbishment has been seriously flawed from day one. Shopkeepers have been treated shabbily by keeping them in the dark until very recently. TfL claims that the shopkeepers will have an opportunity to compete and submit tenders but the new large unit will be beyond the reach of these small businesses who would not be able to compete with large ‘Brand’ operators. In their effort to generate more profitable leases TfL is destroying small businesses. I made a last minute pleato Mike Brown, Managing Director of TfL to save these small businesses going under.

Whilst activities are taking place on this Saturday in Brent and in the rest of the Country to celebrate, inspire and promote small businesses, our local small businesses on Alperton Station are threatened with extinction by Transport for London. Ealing Road, like the rest of Brent, provides rich mix of businesses including small family run businesses. I welcome TfL’s proposed efforts to remove the clutter to make the station attractive and improve the forecourt but conversion of small shops to larger units will be the end of the existing small, family run businesses who’ve been serving the local community for decades and acting almost as an extension of customer services of TfL because of their local knowledge. Closing down these businesses makes no sense at all, in fact it’s dangerous, when TfL will soon be closing ticket offices at train stations across London. If TfL goes ahead with their threat, not only this will be the end of small local shops at Alperton station, it would also be death nail to small businesses across London if TfL were to replicate such policies at other stations. I hope TfL will respond positively to my plea to review their plans and withdraw their notices terminating leases of these much loved and valued small businesses.

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8th December 2014