Campaigner speaks up on behalf of shops

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A WOMAN who helped lead a campaign on behalf of traders in Palmerston Road has backed their bid to launch a judicial review

As reported, businesses in the southern precinct of the pedestrian zone on the street are taking legal action against the council for the way its implemented the scheme.

They believe the consultations process was flawed and have linked the zone to a dramatic decline in trade.

Linda Symes, of Clifton Road, Southsea, got 1,200 firms to sign a petition last year which called for changes to be made.

She said: ‘We want there to be proper consultation – that’s what the petition was about.

‘It was about doing a proper plan, that would be for the benefit of Palmerston Road, Osborne Road and the peripheral roads.

‘If your business was suffering, what would you do?

‘If you can link the closure of the road to a fall in trade then you would want to do something, which is something Akram’s Oriental Supermarket says it can do.

‘It seems to me that Akram’s in particular has a problem with visitors being unable to park outside the business.

‘I don’t think enough thought or care has gone into the scheme.’

Businesses now need to sign a letter of intent proving they will pick up legal costs – which could be around £5,000 – should they lose the case.

Spencer Shaw Solicitors, which is taking on the case, will then write to the council as a way of serving notice of action being taken.

The council will then have the opportunity to respond and both parties will then decide whether to settle out of court or proceed further.

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