Fresh figures show that the number of empty shops in Ilford more than doubled in just one year.
The stats, which have been obtained by the GLA Conservatives, show that 78 shops in Ilford were empty in 2017/18 – up from 32 in 2016/17. Since April last year, 44 shops have been empty.
Across Redbridge the number of empty shops increased by 46 in the same year – rising from 88 to 134.
The figures come as part of a new report from City Hall Conservatives - Helping our High Streets – which argues that the Mayor of London could and should be doing more to help our struggling town centres.
The report, written by Havering and Redbridge Assembly Member Keith Prince, puts forward seven ways in which Sadiq Khan could support London’s high streets, many of which have been hit by a growth in online shopping and a decade-long pay squeeze.
The report’s recommendations include:
Commenting, Keith Prince AM said:
“Our city’s high streets are vitally important; they help to drive economic growth, boost employment and help to strengthen London’s vibrant communities.
“It is no secret that high streets across the country are facing serious challenges as more and more people shop online. The sheer number of empty shops across the capital is simply too high, and action needs to be taken now to help retailers keep their head above water.
“The Mayor himself has recognised that he can play a leading role in transforming our high streets and boosting economic growth. But he could and should be doing much more.
“This report sets out how the Mayor can invest money in a targeted way support the high street and make our shops more accessible to Londoners. By taking some simple steps Sadiq Khan could give our high streets the support they are crying out for”.