Mayor Rahman meets East End Trades Guild on Spitalfields walkabout

East End Trades Guild

East End Trades Guild - Credit: East End Trades Guild

Shopkeepers and small traders fighting rocketing commercial rents and steep Business Rates in London’s East End are meeting the Mayor of Tower Hamlets on his ‘walkabout’ fact-finding tour today.

Members of the newly-formed East End Trades Guild are urging Lutfur Rahman to back their campaign to halt rising costs which threaten their livelyhood and to stem encroachment from big business.

Some have been slapped with eviction notices at Spitalfields Market by the owners, Ballymore Properties, who are selling off the complex.

“We want to show the Mayor that the East End needs these small businesses,” said Trades Guild co-ordinator Krissie Nicolson.

“Independent traders are culturally significant to the East End—but are being squeezed by big businesses encroaching all around.

“Commercial landlords are also squeezing as much rent as they can from small traders.

“Times have changed and the Recession doesn’t help—but landlords are threatening livelihoods.”

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The mayor starts his walkabout at noon at Leila’s café in Calvert Avenue, behind Shoreditch Church, then heads to Chaat curry house in Redchurch Street, Bethnal Green, continuing on to Spitalfields and Paul Gardner’s bag shop in Commercial Street and the Town House antique shop in Fournier Street.

He meets Les Bobroe at 1pm who runs the Wood N’ Things shop at Spitalfields Market which has been landed with notice-to-quit from Ballymore Properties.

The Trades Guild, which has asked to meet Ballymore’s chairman Sean Mulryan, is also lobbying the Mayor to peg the Commercial Business Rate which it says is squeezing many small traders.