Synopsis

Supporting local business through affordable rents, and actively opposing the imposition of chain stores. We will fight back against any threats to local cultural institutions in the name of austerity and deliver a vibrant local economy. Where premises lay empty, we shall find a use for them by opening them to local charities to utilise. We support variety in business. Innovation is key in establishing a holistic and sustainable economy and we will fight to reinstate and protect the local high street. 

Policy

Our vision is for a fairer local economy that is supportive of local businesses, enhanced by Southampton’s cultural individuality, and that contributes to the prosperity of all.

Local businesses are the backbone of Southampton's economy. We are committed to supporting and protecting smaller businesses through a range of measures that aim to make space more affordable, improve local financial services, and oppose the building of new chain stores in areas where local businesses are strong.

The Green Party believes that it is vital to take action and reverse the long­term decline of the high street and the local economy. It is proven that money spent with local businesses is more likely to stay in the local area and have a positive effect on local people. We will work alongside the national Green Party for a living wage of £10 by 2020. This will ensure that local people not only make enough to live on but have money to spend with local businesses, thus invigorating the Southampton economy.

We will also look to bring money into Southampton via tourism. There are a number of cultural attractions in the city and we will work to ensure they continue to be funded alongside the development of new attractions.

The quality of life in Southampton is not only impacted by wages and access to cultural attractions, but also the licensing laws and trading standards. We will encourage live music in pubs and work to strike a balance this and the needs of neighbouring residential areas. We will work to develop licensing laws that see venues exist harmoniously in the community. We are committed to ensuring that local businesses are compliant all laws including trading standards, health & safety, licensing, and food safety.

We aim to deliver a vibrant local economy which keeps jobs within the city. We are committed to fighting for a living wage, looking after local cultural institutions and trading laws that benefit the residents of Southampton. These are all cornerstones of a strong and vibrant local economy.

We will:

● Ensure there is a preference to local businesses leasing out spaces owned by the council and that rents are kept at an affordable level.

● Take all possible measures to get empty retail units back into use. Where such a unit remains empty for a long time, we will consider allowing the free use of this space by appropriate not-for-profit organisations.

● Promote a range of business models and structures, including traditional family businesses, co­operatives and community interest companies. We will continue to support the Southampton Co­operative City project.

● Promote live music and will support venues in obtaining the necessary licences.

● Impose appropriate limits on sound levels and finishing times where such venues are close to residential areas.

● Ensure that existing trading standards are maintained. Decisions to close a business down, revoke its alcohol licence, or bring a prosecution, will only be taken as a last resort.

● Support mixed developments where business and residential units are included alongside each other.

● Encourage membership of the Solent Credit Union, which provides low ­risk financial services.

● Oppose all plans for new supermarkets to be built, and for other buildings (such as pubs and churches) to be converted into supermarkets or outlets for other national/international chains.

● Promote the Art Gallery, the Sea City and Tudor House museums, and the Bargate and support them to ensure they continue to be financially viable.