DAY after day, you hear about businesses you know and love closing. When is it going to stop? What is the council and the community doing to reverse this trend?
Take a stroll down Pitshanger Lane and look how it is changing. Robert Dyas shut down at Christmas. Stepping Out - the shop where you 'shod' your children and bought your party presents, has gone and now we hear that the delicatessen and the bookshop are under threat from rising business rates.
Not much further afield, innovative new ventures like Moose House Stuff on The Avenue are also finding trading conditions difficult.
The issue needs to be addressed, in two parts. Firstly, what is Ealing Council doing to foster a vibrant local shopping environment? How is it encouraging the diversity of the high street and supporting new business?
My most recent visit to The Avenue was greeted with a parking ticket for a spurious traffic offence - is the council driving us into the arms of the bigger retailers like Waitrose? What is it doing to help with business rates and incentives for small business?
The second part is analysing what we, the residents of Ealing are doing. It is not enough to wax lyrical about the local hardware shop and yet do all our shopping in B&Q.
Our local shops are suffering badly in this recession, and they need our support. We need to change our behaviour, and actively give them our custom and also tell them how to serve us better.
The future is not bright, as we are creating a wasteland for ourselves. Only by active behavioural change will things turn around for the better. Support your local high street!
RICHARD PIERCY Ealing