Investment needed to boost night time economy in Gants Hill, say councillors

Money to improve the already thriving evening economy in Gants Hill to help it achieve a special Purple Flag status should come from the businesses, area committee seven members have said.

The Gants Hill Purple Flag stakeholder partnership asked the area committee for �5,000 towards improving business in the evening in and around the centre of Gants Hill.

The flag is a new accreditation scheme that recognises excellence in the management of the evening economy.

The area has been assessed and was advised to improve access to public conveniences at night to stop public urination and improve alcohol related litter left on pavements which can be seen as potential weapons.

The funding application seeks to address these issues and staff the toilets on Friday and Saturday evenings between 9pm to 2am for a pilot period of 12 months and include bottle and glass collections during their shifts.

Speaking at last week’s meeting in Valentines High School, Cranbrook Road, Gants Hill, Cllr Shoaib Patel said: “I am disappointed that businesses haven’t offered to help, as it will benefit them a lot.”

A spokesman on behalf of the partnership said: “Businesses have managed to continue trading through these difficult times and this would be of great benefit to visitors. Traders have already contributed �1,400 for bunting and other events.”

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The partnership hopes that by achieving the Purple Flag status it will increase business, after the profile of the area was raised by the success of nightclub Faces.

Cllr Matthew Chaudhary said: “I fully support this scheme. I have witnessed the change in Gants Hill and new businesses have been opening which would be further encouraged.

“The businesses have done their bit and we should get the scheme moving.”

Cllr Ross Hatfull added: “I hate that the toilets are closed in the evening but I think some of the money should be funded by cabinet and the large club, that will remain anonymous, which makes a lot of money.”

The committee agreed to defer their decision until their next meeting to enable further funding options to be looked at.

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