Many traders are still without a place to go as Elephant & Castle Shopping Centre closes...
Despite years of broken promises by Southwark Labour and Delancey (the developer) to relocate them, over 33 Latin American and other ethnicity market traders are still without a place to go as demolition looms.
Sadly the Elephant & Castle Shopping Centre will close for good on 24th September 2020.
As a result of failure to relocate them before its closure and subsequent demolition, the traders are at the last minute forced to take their case directly to the Mayor of London and presenting their own solution - the ‘Elephant and Castle Traders Relocation Proposal’ recently (Friday 18th September). This solution details how enough stalls could be provided at three (3) sites around the near area of the shopping center, to accommodate all the stall holders still without alternative premises. One of the sites, by the Faraday Monument, has already been considered for such a use by TfL.
The traders pleaded at a representation to Southwark Council early this year where they were given every assurance by then Labour Council Leader Peter John of support to find space and the funds to do so. However, they have been failed yet again. Shockingly, one of the heads of the Labour dominated Planning Committee at the Council was recently heard to laugh at their plight when interviewed on national radio.
The Liberal Democrats are horrified at this treatment and are very much in support of the traders. We stand together with them and add to their call on the Mayor of London to support them and make these proposals happen.
Councillor for St Georges ward, Cllr Maria Linforth-Hall said
“I have worked tirelessly with the many affected and recently helped Maritza Medina Sierra from Columbia (pictured) to relocate her beauty salon to St George’s road. For these traders, demolishing the centre will take away their livelihood, their savings and their dreams. Many are my dear friends and are currently all under one roof and will now have to disperse across London to find new homes. I am wholeheartedly in favour of and support this proposal from traders like Shapoor Amini, Mohammed Jamal, Muhammad Raza, Mohammed Al Waris, Edmund Attoh, Nassim Cheraitain and others. We know that the building needs to be replaced but it is shameful that the Council has failed to adequately help local business in this way. I call on Mayor Sadiq Khan to do everything he can to support them and help them to be able to find new premises together.”
Leader of the Liberal Democrats, Cllr Nick Johnson stated:
“I was against the demolition of the shopping centre at Planning Committee because clearly the new temporary centre proposed by Delancey was not big enough to accommodate all the traders and restaurants, especially the larger ones. Also the plans for relocation and support were completely inadequate and mostly absent. Many of these traders are micro businesses and can’t afford increased rents in the new schemes. When gathered together they form a clear community and place that people knew they could come for authentic Latin American and other ethnicity products and food. Now they are dispersed, and a community destroyed. I strongly support this campaign and call on the Mayor to take action to keep them together in nearby locations.”
Please find a link to the Proposal here
and more information about the traders here