I've often wondered why the road I live on is called Wapping High Street – it's a pebbled road with only two shops on it, the rest of the buildings being warehouse conversions into flats or big houses.

It's not like, say, Tooting High Street in south London, with its TK Maxx, Sainsbury's, fruit and vegetable shops and butchers with restaurants interspersed between them.

Tooting residents like to go out to shop and eat in proper community family style.

One year on since the collapse of Philip Green's former company in the hands of its last owner Dominic Chappello, a report by The Local Data Company shows that 82% of the 160 stores that were closed remain unoccupied either because no-one has taken them up or planning permissions for redevelopment proposals have yet to be decided upon.

There have been many plans to bring new life to our high streets, most notably the Mary Portas Initiative which had many sound proposals but which faltered in execution when placed in the hands of local authorities who really don't understand the needs of businesses and what they could do to service local communities.

Whilst we have seen huge government support to back tech businesses in Old Street's "silicon roundabout" and Hackney Council is making great progress in creating a fashion quarter, there is lamentably little to encourage the ever-growing numbers of food entrepreneurs looking for spaces to trade from.

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