Hackney Council should take action to retain diverse and vibrant shopping streets in the borough with a place for everyone.
Hackney's high streets are changing fast. What used to be run-down or empty shops are filling up with trendy coffee shops and boutiques for fashionable newcomers - and that's great.
But some residents - new and old - are concerned that this can go too far and that the diversity of Hackney's high streets and shopping areas might be under threat. There must continue to be a place for traditional businesses catering to all sectors of the community - discount shops and greasy spoons must have a place in the new Hackney alongside the cappuccinos and pop-ups.
Our vibrant mixed community with different races and incomes living side by side needs to be reflected on our high streets too.
"Hackney Council is a major landlord in the borough, holding the deeds or leases to hundreds of shops," says campaigner, Teena Lashmore. "
They need to use that position to manage our community shopping streets to keep them diverse. If a neighbourhood doesn't have a greengrocer or a butcher, prioritise those businesses when leasing premises. If an area risks being oversaturated with cafes, don't rent council properties for that purpose."
Lib Dems have already had success keeping Hackney's high streets thriving. We campaigned hard to stop Labour from shutting down Hackney Central Post Office, and when the new Post Office opened on Dalston Lane, Lib Dem councillor Abraham Jacobson was invited to open it. In 2013, a Liberal Democrat amendment to prevent council-owned buildings being sold or let as betting shops was passed in the council chamber.
We want the Council to adopt a new policy to monitor and manage the diversity of businesses in Hackney's shopping districts and high streets, using its position as a major commercial landlord to ensure that we retain a balance between different ethnic communities, different income groups and between big and small businesses.