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S17 – SoI from the Secretary of State for Communities & Local Government Watch

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    (Original post by jamestg)
    Do you seriously think small business would thrive under regulation? Of course not. Only the bigger businesses can survive under such conditions. Why are you, a socialist, trying to endorse such a situation? This isn't exactly throwing money at the problem - there are four specific ways local retail trade can be boosted. It's not handing out large cheques to the large supermarket chains or department stores.
    Naturally, there are ways to make regulation proportionately burdensome - the most common is to exclude businesses under a certain size from the burden. I don't see how big vs small businesses is something a socialist should care about. I support the other three elements of your proposals, but the subsidy element I'm opposed to, because it cannot work. The possible outcomes are either the firms in question becoming large, or them needing more money throwing at them in a couple of years. Only by imposing regulations which prevent anticompetitive conduct from the larger firms in the market can we give small firms a lasting chance to thrive.

    What has happened to the investment that the left support in these economic conditions? Do you expect local trade merely to close up - contributing to unemployment, loss of consumer convenience and decline of local economies and communities?
    Oh, I certainly support investment in these conditions. However, I'm a big fan of urbanisation, so I'd consider it a better investment to, for instance, create a state-owned supermarket as a competitor, possibly offering a different product range. Local trade will die even with your valiant attempts to save it - not because of any specific policy (and certainly not because of ones from the left!), but because that is what happens with the free market - as technology improves to allow more and more economies of scale, small firms dry up and die. If you want to make it so that local grocers etc (of course there are idiosyncratic businesses which can last on a 'high street' model) can last, you essentially need to adopt a planned economy platform. Of course, that's a terrible idea for all sorts of reasons, but your goals are dumb and doomed to fail eventually (though I reiterate, I support the other elements of this statement, except perhaps imposing certain prices on local car parks which local authorities, which the Tories have already brutally cut beyond repair for political expediency, rely on for revenue).
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    (Original post by jamestg)
    What a sad statement to hear. I guess the same can be said for British Steel then...
    In response to this - yes, British steel is a failing industry, should be allowed to fail, and new, modern industries should be nationalised in its place.
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    (Original post by jamestg)
    What a sad statement to hear. I guess the same can be said for British Steel then...
    When I say you can't save the highstreet and it's doomed to fail, I don't mean it's going to implode and disappear, I was exagerrating.

    All I meant was that attempts to improve the numbers on high street shops is futile, online shopping will continue to dominate, it's just a sad factor of reality.
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    (Original post by TheDefiniteArticle)
    Naturally, there are ways to make regulation proportionately burdensome - the most common is to exclude businesses under a certain size from the burden. I don't see how big vs small businesses is something a socialist should care about. I support the other three elements of your proposals, but the subsidy element I'm opposed to, because it cannot work. The possible outcomes are either the firms in question becoming large, or them needing more money throwing at them in a couple of years. Only by imposing regulations which prevent anticompetitive conduct from the larger firms in the market can we give small firms a lasting chance to thrive.



    Oh, I certainly support investment in these conditions. However, I'm a big fan of urbanisation, so I'd consider it a better investment to, for instance, create a state-owned supermarket as a competitor, possibly offering a different product range. Local trade will die even with your valiant attempts to save it - not because of any specific policy (and certainly not because of ones from the left!), but because that is what happens with the free market - as technology improves to allow more and more economies of scale, small firms dry up and die. If you want to make it so that local grocers etc (of course there are idiosyncratic businesses which can last on a 'high street' model) can last, you essentially need to adopt a planned economy platform. Of course, that's a terrible idea for all sorts of reasons, but your goals are dumb and doomed to fail eventually (though I reiterate, I support the other elements of this statement, except perhaps imposing certain prices on local car parks which local authorities, which the Tories have already brutally cut beyond repair for political expediency, rely on for revenue).
    (Original post by TheDefiniteArticle)
    In response to this - yes, British steel is a failing industry, should be allowed to fail, and new, modern industries should be nationalised in its place.
    I'll reply to this tomorrow with (hopefully) an equally long answer


    (Original post by SoggyCabbages)
    When I say you can't save the highstreet and it's doomed to fail, I don't mean it's going to implode and disappear, I was exagerrating.

    All I meant was that attempts to improve the numbers on high street shops is futile, online shopping will continue to dominate, it's just a sad factor of reality.
    While I'm in agreement that online shopping is getting more popular - it's not exactly dominating (12.4% of the total retail market) in a time where pretty much everyone is connected onto the internet. That said you have the likes of John Lewis pouring millions into building new stores when their online sales are growing at an unprecedented rate - yet they've still made their stores an attractive option. I highly doubt the very sensible people over at John Lewis would make such ill-conceived judgements. The same can be applied for local retail. If it becomes attractive, people will come. If business can be facilitated, jobs will be created.
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    (Original post by jamestg)
    Aye, each counter (at least in my region) got paid £160 in the PCC election for a few hours' work. Obviously I benefited, but it was pretty ridiculous.
    Don't forget how much the people at the polling stations are paid to sit there
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    Great statement from a strong and effective Government.
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    Surely one way to encourage high streets and small shops would be to give preference in the hours they can open, as occurred before the House deregulated shop hours?

    Free car parking does not help anyone who has no car, so some incentive for bus use, walking and cycling, such as stopping or parking facilities being conveniently located, could be one option to assist.*
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    (Original post by jamestg)
    While I'm in agreement that online shopping is getting more popular - it's not exactly dominating (12.4% of the total retail market) in a time where pretty much everyone is connected onto the internet. That said you have the likes of John Lewis pouring millions into building new stores when their online sales are growing at an unprecedented rate - yet they've still made their stores an attractive option. I highly doubt the very sensible people over at John Lewis would make such ill-conceived judgements. The same can be applied for local retail. If it becomes attractive, people will come. If business can be facilitated, jobs will be created.
    Having just studied e-commerce, including it's effect on brick and mortar stores it is worth mentioning that John Lewis is very much bucking the trend in regards to thriving as a physical department store outlet, and that their image as a high quality store along with innovative thinking in regards to their e-commerce/online front is why they are growing when other department stores are not.
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    (Original post by Kay_Winters)
    Having just studied e-commerce, including it's effect on brick and mortar stores it is worth mentioning that John Lewis is very much bucking the trend in regards to thriving as a physical department store outlet, and that their image as a high quality store along with innovative thinking in regards to their e-commerce/online front is why they are growing when other department stores are not.
    The thing that does have to be remembered is that their stores, especially for the higher ticket items, are less stores and more show rooms with people going into the store to decide what they want to get and then buying it online

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    (Original post by Jammy Duel)
    The thing that does have to be remembered is that their stores, especially for the higher ticket items, are less stores and more show rooms with people going into the store to decide what they want to get and then buying it online

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    For sure, I'm not disagreeing with that assessment, but when you look at the department store market it is clear John Lewis through their e-commerce strategy and by building up their public image even more as a high quality, family friendly store has helped them buck a trend which has seen some of their competitors fumble.
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    This is a naive Statement of Intent, it shows the government does not understand why the high street is struggling, these proposals will not change things. The high street is struggling because out-of-town shopping centres are more convenient for shoppers, there is no struggle to find parking, there are no busy roads to cross, there is no rain to make the experience miserable, there is not driving about because shops are far apart, there is not constant worry of your children being hit by a speeding car, and there is no need to wear lots of layers if it is a cold day. E-commerce is one factor in the decline of the high street, but the biggest factor is the convenience of out-of-town shopping centres, and big chain shops willing to move to the shopping centres.
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    Does this mean no London Mayor, even though created under different legislation?
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    (Original post by barnetlad)
    Does this mean no London Mayor, even though created under different legislation?
    No, it means that directly elected mayors require a referendum to approve, or some similar system, it doesn't remove those already approved by referendum.

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    (Original post by Jammy Duel)
    No, it means that directly elected mayors require a referendum to approve, or some similar system, it doesn't remove those already approved by referendum.

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    Except the statement says that mayors are a waste of money and do not add anything which is contrary to what you are saying.
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    (Original post by Aph)
    Except the statement says that mayors are a waste of money and do not add anything which is contrary to what you are saying.
    Given that it was my idea in the first place after seeing that there are mayors being established next year for regions, the intention is to get rid of these and other imposed directly elected mayors.

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    (Original post by Jammy Duel)
    Given that it was my idea in the first place after seeing that there are mayors being established next year for regions, the intention is to get rid of these and other imposed directly elected mayors.

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    then the statement is worded extremely poorly as it suggests you wish to get rid of all mayors.
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    (Original post by Aph)
    then the statement is worded extremely poorly as it suggests you wish to get rid of all mayors.
    Actually the only one it implies would be gotten rid of that already exists is London mayor, assuming that their jurisdiction is the entirety of the Greater London region, the statement specifies regional mayors.

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    (Original post by Jammy Duel)
    Actually the only one it implies would be gotten rid of that already exists is London mayor, assuming that their jurisdiction is the entirety of the Greater London region, the statement specifies regional mayors.

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    Except that the establishment of the London mayor was by the Greater London Authority Act 1999 and not the Local Government act 2000 which is that act under which mayors have been created.
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    (Original post by Jammy Duel)
    Given that it was my idea in the first place after seeing that there are mayors being established next year for regions, the intention is to get rid of these and other imposed directly elected mayors.
    I think you need to look over the Local Government Act that we passed in Parliament XXI because the situation is somewhat different.
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    (Original post by Aph)
    Except that the establishment of the London mayor was by the Greater London Authority Act 1999 and not the Local Government act 2000 which is that act under which mayors have been created.
    But it is the only regional mayor approved by referendum (even if only 34.1pc turnout) those being removed were not

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