For more than a decade, boarded up shops have blighted Dartford town centre and Lowfield Street. It's an eyesore and simply unacceptable.
Many shops complain that they’re struggling because their costs are always going up. Labour would cut business rates for small businesses.
There are so many young people struggling to find work. So we should be supporting our young entrepreneurs, designers and start-ups to open premises in Dartford.
We don’t have to watch our town centre die. It needs a new vision and start – an alternative shopping space that supports independent traders and encourages live-work units.
For example, we could be offering them rate free premises for the first couple of years – isn’t it better to see shops occupied than empty or boarded up? Other towns have turned themselves around. So can Dartford.
Jaswinder Singh Narwan
Small business owner, Dartford town centre
"Dartford town centre has been left to rot by the Tories for the last 12 years. It desperately needs a fresh start and I know as MP for Dartford, Simon will make that one of his priorities. Small businesses like us should be the life-blood of the town. Labour would help us by cutting business rates. But many shops in Dartford are simply lying empty -- Simon wants to see these used to encourage start-ups and create an alternative successful high street and market town again."