ALTHOUGH the latest Budget did make an extra £1.5bn available to support struggling high streets, it will only amount to a short-term fix unless the Government takes more radical action.
After all, the lack of enthusiasm shown by James Brokenshire, the Cabinet minister responsible for this policy, in his latest TV interview could not be in greater contrast to the innovative suggestions being put forward by University of Sheffield graduate Luke Graham to help struggling town centres.
Now a Tory MP in a rural Scottish constituency that has seen cuts to key amenities, he wants the law changed so the banks bailed out by taxpayers at the height of the financial crisis do pay a debt to society and make a £100,000 contribution to local leaders whenever they intend to close a branch. He’s fearful that “rural and small communities are being abandoned”. The worry is that Mr Brokenshire seems oblivious to this danger.