Date: June 2019
After 15 years at Woo Hairdressers in Clifftown Road we have with a heavy heart relocated to Thorpe Bay. Sixteen years ago the town was thriving and there were many top brand shops, however, now we have to settle for coffee and pop up phone case shops that open and close at an alarming pace to avoid the rates. I was very proud to have a Southend Business...
I have seen a major decline in and around the High Street during the last 3 years. Unfortunately, last year became intolerable in Southend. Customers were always saying that they did not like coming into the town centre and felt very uncomfortable and unsafe. My late night trade dropped considerably.
The business rates are astronomical considering the state of the streets. Clifftown Road is always strewn with rubbish and looks very unsightly. The alleyways are used for people dealing in drugs and the public have to walk past groups of unsightly people clearly smoking illegal substances. They also have to walk past people standing outside the pub smoking, not to mention being asked for money. Clifftown Road is one of the first streets that visitors see when arriving at our town centre, yet it's probably one of the most unkept streets in the town. There is so much potential in Southend, we have some lovely streets with beautiful buildings. We all know how wonderful Chelmsford High Street is and many people prefer to shop there instead. That wasn’t always the case, it has been regenerated to a wonderfully high level with the help of a well run Council and big brand retailers.
Parking is a real issue around the High Street. The charges are an expensive cost for shoppers and really damaging to Southend businesses. Also, the new addition of making some of the surrounding streets, permit holder only, is another disadvantage for local businesses and residents.