The proposed development of the Gilders site won’t ensure the survival of Banner Cross as a thriving local centre. Banner Cross has recently lost a number of independent shops, including a much missed greengrocers and bakers, in part because of competition from a new ‘mini’ supermarket. The worry is that the ‘leading national occupiers’ interested in the Gilders site will simply continue this trend towards our local centre becoming a clone-town street of national chains. Local independent businesses help knit an area together. They tend to have close links with other local businesses and services. They are more likely to provide jobs where employees can have a real say over the business. They also keep money circulating round the local economy, rather than seeing it disappear off into the pockets of distant shareholders. It can be difficult to make time for shopping outside the big chains, but buying locally benefits us all. The Gilders site development could help Banner Cross thrive, but it needs to make space for local retailers, and encourage residents to support local independent traders.

Jason Leman
Sheffield Green Party


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