Ilford traders’ plea for help to stop their shops failing

TRADERS are pleading for help to stop their livelihoods crashing to the ground after seeing their profits plummet dramatically in just 12 months.

On Friday, business owners in Cranbrook Road, Ilford, made a “last ditch” bid to get parking for their customers as they came face-to-face with decision makers at an Ilford Town Centre forum.

They claim customers are deserting the shopping area because CCTV parking enforcers issue tickets to anyone who pulls up in Cranbrook Road.

Manjit Singh, who owns off-licence Drinks R Us, said: “We’ve seen revenue fall 50 per cent since July last year.

“Our customers are scared to park there even for a couple of minutes to buy a bottle of wine.

“It’s really hurting us.”

Chrissy Simpson, who owns printing firm Copycats, said: “People need to stop off to pick up heavy orders.

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“Even our delivery drivers are fined for parking.

“We need to have some parking bays. It’s critical.

“I’m thinking of not opening on Saturdays any more because business has gone down so much.”

The Ilford Town Centre forum at If bar, Ilford Hill, Ilford, gave traders the chance to quiz guests from town centre manager Neil Davis to the police and council bosses on any gripe they have.

Joe Shermin, owner of Tony Adem salon in Chapel Road, Ilford, was among them.

He claims a “pitch black” alleyway which runs alongside his business and leads to a car park has become a magnet for drug dealing and crime.

Mr Shermin said: “People are frightened to park there because there’s no CCTV and it’s pitch black walking through.

“Last year a woman was being raped in the alley and I intervened.

“It only needs one light. I’ve told so many different people at the council and nothing seems to be done.”

Organisers of the forum say every issue raised will be investigated by the relevant people.

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