East End Trades Guild Spitalfields launch to tackle rents and red tape

A cooperative is being launched for hundreds of traders in London’s East End fighting to stay in business against rocketing rents and town hall red tape.

A steering committee is meeting tonight (Weds) at the Bishopsgate Institute near Liverpool Street in the City to plan details of the launch at nearby Spitalfields Church on November 19.

The move to set up the East End Trades Guild—with a fanfare of trumpets—is aimed at street-by-street collective bargaining among neighbouring shopkeepers and other small businesses to tackle corporate landlords and local authorities.

It comes in the wake of the Spitalfields Fruit & Wool Exchange redevelopment which was given the green light last month by London Mayor Boris Johnson—resulting in small businesses given notices to quit by the City of London Corporation.

But the new trades guild will tackle far wider issues across the East End facing small traders.

“They need to act together to deal with issues such as business rates, parking restrictions, waste disposal, anti-social behaviour and even council planning regulations,” the new Guild’s founding organiser Krissie Nicolson told the Advertiser.

“We hope to organise traders street-by-street when negotiating with local authorities on these issues as well as with landlords on rent. They have to work together.”

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The Guild is to vote on which issues to tackle first, after the launch on Monday-week at Christ Church—modelled on how London Citizens network of community organisations operates.

Meanwhile, organisers are hoping anyone who can play a brass instrument or any trader wanting to sign up will contact Krissie before November 19 to take part in the 7pm fanfare launch. Krissie Nicolson can be contacted on 07910-966738, or by email at: krissie@eastendtradesguild.org.uk

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