Elephant and Castle traders laid out their concerns and demands at a Council meeting this week after the Council revealed a range of measures to assist local traders in relocating away from the soon to be demolished Elephant and Castle shopping centre.
The range of measures is in response to an independent equalities analysis which was carried out by AECOM Ltd. The analysis, which took place in early 2016, saw a number of issues raised by both traders and by AECOM who were commissioned to carry out the report.
One main concern is the impact on the local BME and Latin communities. In the equalities report, it was noted that ‘the site as a hub for BME goods, services and cultural activities risks becoming lost’ and that the development ‘could potentially have negative equality effects on the local BME community’. It is hoped that the package of measures to support relocation, which will be delivered and fully funded by Delancey, will ensure the site will retain the diverse and vibrant mix it currently has. However in response to the range of measures proposed, Cathedrals ward Liberal Democrat Councillor Maria Linforth-Hall expressed her fears that this may not happen,
“The findings of the equalities analysis make it quite clear that help is needed for the BME and the Latin traders in Elephant and Castle shopping centre. The relocation measures laid out by Southwark Council go some way to ensuring that many of the current traders can remain locally.”
“However, I am anxious that the relocation strategy is extremely thin on detail and makes no mention on how the package is to be managed. In addition, the Labour run Council has once again failed to reverse the disappointing decision not to include 10% of affordable units in the new shopping centre despite it being a crucial aspect of its own planning document.”
“Southwark Liberal Democrats will be fighting each and every trader’s corner to ensure that they get the critical support they need to relocate and that the new shopping centre caters for all local residents.”