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Bonkers Blog March 2019

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29 March (Part 1) - Oh no! Not another one. ™ Brenda from Bristol

TweetIt looks as though Bexley Conservatives are going to continue peddling their half truths. Their survey of town centres was not a public consultation but more of a brain storming session among friends.

The result is a list of good things and bad things about the five main shopping centres in the borough.

Bexley Tories, dishonest as ever, have chosen to publicise only the good things. The full list is reproduced below.

• Good mix of retailers - especially national chains and brands
• Strong convenience offering
• A large pedestrianised area - space for events, market stalls and entertainment
• Business Improvement District (BID) works on behalf of businesses
• Low vacancy rates in town core and shopping centre
• Relatively strong leisure offer - including cinema, bowling, bingo, gyms, eating and drinking
• Great bus connections and plenty of parking spaces (many free)
• Increased residential development in town centres will bring more footfall and customers
• Retail mix attractive to younger shoppers
• Central Library - community resource and footfall generator
• Prominent position on high ridge - expansive views over Kent countryside (which seeks an outward-looking opportunity)
• Changing Places facility in town centre - to enhance accessibility for disabled customers
• Impact of numerous secondary school students visiting weekend afternoons
• Dominance of national retailers and lack of opportunity for independents in the core retail area
• Evening economy imbalance - concentration of F&B businesses in one part of town
• Lack of diversity in leisure offer
• Tired and unattractive public realm and some poor quality shop frontages
• High non-core vacancy rates
• Threat of improved offer at Bluewater and other neighbouring centres
• Increased costs of running a retail business and competition from online shopping

Just out of interest can someone tell me where the many free car parks are in Bexleyheath? I am aware of Asda’s but the few times I have looked in it I have concluded that there is no way anyone should leave anything more valuable than a banger there.

Sainsbury’s and Lidl allow free parking if you jump through various hoops and fine you if you don’t. Where are the free car parks I have failed to spot?

F&B? Not a clue. Food and Booze?


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