Save Our Hampstead High Street
Our beloved Hampstead High Street is losing small independent traders while multiples proliferate as they can afford the high rent demanded by landlords. Our High Street is in danger of becoming a clone town with the loss of its individuality, community cohesion, social contact for the most vulnerable in our community and the increase in CO2 emissions as residents take to their cars to find shops to replace the vital service provided by small independent traders. The latest potential victim is the Hampstead Health Shop (top of Hampstead High Street opposite the tube station). Sue, the proprietor has worked tirelessly in her shop for 26 years keeping the community healthy. She can no longer afford the high rent of £70,000 per annum and high business rates of £38,000 per annum. Her landlord, Prudential Pensions Limited whose property portfolio is managed by Prudential Property Investment Management (PRUPIM) took her to court on 13 September, 2011 for forfeiture of the lease and rent arrears. The case has been adjourned to around the end of November, 2011. Prudential plc runs the business of Prudential Pensions Limited. The Heath and Hampstead Society has launched a campaign to stop the decline of our high street, the creation of a clone town and the loss of a vital health shop service which existed in our community for the past 26 years. Fliers and hard copy petitions can be found in Sue’s shop and on community boards around the high street. As a community in which Prudential's assets are located, we are stakeholders of Prudential (as per their website). We have written to Mr Harvey McGrath, the Chairman of Prudential plc, the parent company of Prudential Pensions Limited and PRUPIM to invite him to intervene in this matter. We, the community, invite Mr McGrath, as Chairman, to do the following: (a) enter into a dialogue with the Society about flexible ways of charging rent to small independent traders which are vital to the local community; (b) consider reducing rent charges to small independent traders which are vital to the local community who lease property owned by Prudential Pensions Limited. We would be grateful for your support in signing this petition to Mr McGrath to accept our invitation and to successfully intervene in this vital matter which detrimentally affects our local interests.
Please see Ham & High article in today's press - 8.9.11
Please see Camden New Journal's article in today's press - 8.9.11