Landlords need to sort out 'poor aspects' of town
HELSTON'S deputy mayor Mike Thomas has called for a concerted effort to improve the appearance of the town.
He, and other councillors, have voiced concerns about the state of some business premises in the town centre.
But there could be a problem due to the number of buildings that have multiple landlords.
At the most recent town council meeting, Mr Thomas asked town centre manager Jonathan Birkett whether there had been any progress in contacting landlords.
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The deputy mayor said some aspects of the main streets were "very, very poor".
He added: "Is there any way we can have a conference with landlords who don't appear to do anything to sort out their problems?"
Mr Birkett spoke of the problems of multiple landlords but said he intended there to be a significant improvement in the "cosmetic appearance" of the streets by next Flora Day.
He added that many shops, at ground level, were in very good keeping: "It is the first floors which are the problem."
Mr Birkett, in his subsequent report to councillors, said: "I urge traders to take more responsibility for their premises. We have a wonderful town but we all need to work harder."
He said general trade had dropped off after a summer full of activity, with autumn seeing sales "return to earth with a bump".
Poor weather and a "significant change" in the habits of local shoppers, which was beyond his and traders' control, had had varying degrees of impact.
The jury was out on whether a 3 per cent increase in sales nationally had been reflected in Helston.
"I believe 2013 is an important year for us as a commercial centre and we need to start preparing for it now.
"We have to encourage our community to continue to shop locally and our business owners have to be more aware of how their business plan fits in with the need of the modern consumer."
Most importantly, he added, the town needed to make it as easy as possible to encourage new businesses to start up in Helston.