My name is Rob Simmons and I'm a candidate for Penzance East in this Thursdays Cornwall Council election and these are my 3 priorities for our town centre:
1 Action on reducing Parking Fees
2 Action on unfair business rates
3 Action on empty shops and buildings.
I firmly believe that Cornwall Council ought to do more to support Penzance Town Centre and these 3 changes would be a massive leap forward.
1. Action on Parking Fees, Penzance has some of the highest parking fees in Cornwall, we all know that it puts people off coming to town and crucially shoppers from staying for longer periods. With out of town retail parks popping up everywhere and the lure and convenience of the internet our town centre needs help. Cornwall Council must do it's part in supporting the town centre. Penzance needs a Cornwall Councillor that will lobby to change this and find a solution that benefits us and stops CC seeing Penzance as a way of making money. We need to see a major overhaul of parking pricing in town, not yet more charging as the current Liberal Democrat/ Independent administration had planned recently.
2. Action on Business Rates. Rates are a massive obstacle to doing business in Penzance Town Centre. It's not a fair system and it's one that greatly benefits large chains and out of town stores and penalises the beating heart of the local economy; small and medium enterprises. I heard various Conservatives talk about non-domestic rate reviews during general election debates 2 years ago, now is time to see some action. Pressure needs to be put on government to review how business rates effect town centres and simply there needs to be a reduction in how much smes are charged. Business rates are decided by central government but Cornwall Council can lobby for change and I would join with other councillors, local businesses and other organisations to call for this change.
3. Action on Empty Buildings, we need and deserve a vibrant town centre and empty, crumbling and frankly derelict buildings are a major obstacle. There are a range of powers that Cornwall Council has to deal with this problem but they're seldom used. Pressure needs to be put onto absentee landlords to be responsible for the properties in Penzance Town Centre. We all want a town centre we can proud of, we need a Cornwall Councillor that will push for this.
Penzance Town Centre is a vital asset for this town we are one of the biggest shopping destinations in Cornwall. We need more focus from Cornwall Council in this town, they are taking much more than they are giving, this needs to change. These are 3 simple actions, that I believe would turn around this town centre, please vote for me, Rob Simmons, on May the Fourth.