Kensington & Chelsea Liberal Democrats

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Public Demonstration on Friday 9th November

4.34.00pm UTC (GMT +0000) Mon 29th Oct 2007

Woolworths shop front, Portobello Road (photography: Robin Meltzer)

Woolworths: used daily by residents who wish it to stay

As many visitors to this website will already know (and thank you for your pledges of support!), we are organising a public demonstration to draw attention to the plight of Woolworths and other shops on the Portobello Road. The demonstration is on Friday 9th November at 3pm outside Woolworths, 211 Portobello Road.

The shops that are valued and used daily by local residents in that unique part of London are in danger of being demolished and replaced by luxury developments and other businesses which bring in higher rents.

The Liberal Democrats are saying NO to this. By the time planning permission is considered for such developments, it will be too late for local business-owners who have already been forced out - either because they cannot afford an increased lease cost, or because their leases have expired. Local residents have realised they must act NOW to ensure that their voices are heard - it is pointless to wait until plans are put before the local authority.

Hundreds of local people have already signed our petition. We want hundreds more to do so on the day of the demo. The pressure is already working because the Super Landlord known as UK Investments, who own the Woolworths site, have recently started talking about a way of maintaining a Woolworths presence on Portobello.

This in itself is being seen by some as a small victory for local campaigners but we must not be complacent. Indeed, we must ensure that the talk is turned into action. To succeed, we must be visible - and that's why we are holding this demonstration.

The threat to Woolworths is the most visible example of what is going wrong on Portobello, but this is not just about Woolworths. It's about the entire diverse character of Portobello Road which the Lib Dems are fighting to preserve for local people and visitors alike.

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Previous news story: WOOLWORTHS: The Local Pressure Is Working, KEEP IT UP! (Wed 22nd Aug 2007).

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