Campaign to save high streets and small businesses launched

Wandsworth Guardian: Businesses from Balham, Earlsfield and Tooting want more control over their high streets. Businesses from Balham, Earlsfield and Tooting want more control over their high streets.

A campaign to save high streets being overran by betting shops, pay day lenders and unwanted supermarkets has launched.

Businesses from Balham, Earlsfield and Tooting, alongside MP Sadiq Khan, are petitioning for the government to put communities in charge of their high streets.

Little India, Russell's DIY Store, Egg Free Cake Box, Nasar Fabric and Prime Homes met with Mr Khan to launch the campaign at his constituency office in Balham High Road on Friday.

Councillors Leonie Cooper and Rex Osborn and the Earlsfield Business Network also attended to lend their support.

The campaign comes after government legislation changed rules on high street planning, making it easier for betting shops to open.

Under the new measures shops will be able to switch to bookmakers without planning permission.

Mr Khan said: "Tooting residents are sick and tired of seeing more and more betting shops, pound shops. Pawnbrokers and pay day lenders opening on our High Street.

"We have a fantastic and diverse collection of local businesses in here in Tooting, but I share local concerns about the future of our High Street."

Terence Witten, of the Earlsfield Business Network, said: "It's great to have our local MP taking action, helping small businesses and campaigning to give our community a say on the make-up of our High Street."

To sign the petition visit sadiqkhan.org.uk

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