Private landlords must play their part to help regenerate high streets, a councillor has said.

Cllr Julia Jessel made her comments at a meeting of Staffordshire County Council’s cabinet this week.

She said that while Government and local authorities were doing what they could to support regeneration, private landlords needed to play their part in revitalising shopping areas.

Cllr Julia Jessel

“If people see town centres slowly dying it can become a quick downward spiral.

“I’m aware of town centres with a lot of empty shops looking down at heel that are in private ownership.

“The one thing that concerns me is that the Government are doing their bit in ensuring there is investment, but wherever possible we should engage with the private sector who own a significant proportion of properties to let them know they need to do their bit.

“The public sector can’t do everything – the private sector has got to step up to the mark.

“We must engage with private landlords to do their bit because it’s in their interest as well.”

Cllr Julia Jessel, Staffordshire County Council

Cllr Philip White, deputy leader and cabinet member for economy and skills, said partnership working would be the only way to breathe new life into traditional retail areas.

“It is true that most town centre properties are owned by a small number of organisations.

“We do engage with them alongside our districts and boroughs as that partnership working is particularly important when it comes to premises and planning matters.

“But local authorities and Government can’t do it all, they can only do their bit.

“We’re taking a step forward on things like the condition of town centres. We need to do it in connection with private businesses in order to understand what they need – but then we need to say ‘it’s over to you to do your bit’.”

Cllr Philip White, Staffordshire County Council

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  1. Well, shops don’t last long in Lichfield, and much of that is down to greedy landlords who inflict horrendous rent rises that small shops can’t live with. I’ve known it happen in a number of cases. What is our chamber of commerce doing about this?

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