Library move may be key to improving North End

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MOVING a library and cheaper parking are some of the options being discussed to improve a declining shopping area.

Portsmouth City Council leader Donna Jones met traders from North End last night to talk about what can be done to improve the area.

Portsmouth North MP ''Penny Mordaunt with Kevin Wrona, five, during the Minions Day in North End last month 'Picture: Malcolm Wells (151026-0408)

Portsmouth North MP ''Penny Mordaunt with Kevin Wrona, five, during the Minions Day in North End last month 'Picture: Malcolm Wells (151026-0408)

In recent years, more empty shops have appeared and McDonalds and KFC are among the major names to move out.

Now, the council is considering moving the library closer to the centre of North End.

Cllr Jones said: ‘We are really keen to try and draw up the business in North End and make sure we have an increased footfall.

‘I’m giving consideration to the library. It’s a very popular library. We really want to expand the IT offering there.

We are really keen to try and draw up the business in North End and make sure we have an increased footfall

Councillor Donna Jones

‘So we are looking to see whether we could move the library and create a community hub in the middle of North End and then redevelop the existing site, potentially for residential units.

‘There are lots of ideas we are working with. A really good number of people came here tonight and I think we have got a really good, strong collaborative way forward to work together.’

From December, the council will be offering free parking in the Stubbington Avenue car park after 3pm for a one-year trial.

Consideration will also be given to introducing half-hour parking slots for 50p.

Penny Mordaunt, MP for Portsmouth North recently arranged a Minions day, where characters from the film Despicable Me stood out in the street to draw more people to the area.

She said: ‘In addition to the traders, I have had local residents in my surgery because the decline of the area is having a impact on them through an increase in anti-social behaviour, drug taking, street drinking and all other sorts of things.

‘The area is on a steady trajectory downhill.

‘There needs to be a focus on the long-term vision for the area. We need to do something fast.’

Plans to start a traders’ association were also discussed.