Along with 19 other people, Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson, the Lib Dem Parliamentary Candidate for Portsmouth South, attended the newly formed Fratton Traders Association yesterday. Hosted by 'Sweet Memories Vinyl Records UK' owner Nick Courtney, the shopping area has also launched a facebook page, which is seeing support growing fast: https://www.facebook.com/frattontraders
During its first meeting the group discussed ways of improving Fratton Road shopping. Portsmouth City Council's Town Centre Manager, Barry Walker was also on-hand to lend his professional advice. Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson says:
"Local shops are important for local people and jobs, so it's great to see Fratton Road shops getting together like this. There were lots of good ideas and I was glad to be there; we must work to get the Council to listen to the traders - so it's also helpful there is a panel of councillors currently looking at ways to improve local shopping centres like Fratton."
Local Lib Dem Fratton Ward Councillor, David Fuller added: "It was a good meeting and we will work to help the best way we can."
Thanks to work by Traders Associations and others, retailing across Portsmouth is doing well with shop-occupancy rates at an average 97%, which is higher than the UK average.