BLACKPOOL’S town centre needs to go “back to future” in order to revive its economy, according to a Blackpool councillor.
In the wake of major high street chains including as HMV and Blockbuster encountering financial problems, Coun Paul Galley suggested to a meeting of Blackpool Council that so-called “incubation zones” should be set up with reduced rates to encourage start-up businesses to begin trading.
However, the Labour-run council has ruled out the Coun Galley’s suggestion during a council meeting this week that a trial area on Talbot Road could be established.
Speaking to The Gazette after the meeting, Coun Galley said he was disappointed the idea had been rejected.
He added: “The response I got was pretty much business as usual but if you look down most of Talbot Road it’s empty or full of charity shops.
“The current policy isn’t working and we’ve got to try to be clever about how we do this.
“We need to create something that is a unique shopping experience.
“It’s got to start somewhere and just doing what we’ve already done isn’t going to work.
“It was a suggestion as to how we can turn around the retail sector of Blackpool and I believe a lot of this town’s problems can be solved within Blackpool.”
At the meeting, Blackpool Council leader Simon Blackburn dismissed Coun Galley’s idea.
He said: “Is a Conservative councillor seriously suggesting we use public money to try to counter the effects of monetarist policy and capitalism?
“Because if so you need to come and sit over here (on the Labour benches).”