Wednesday 10 October 2018 11.25am
There are already plenty of hotels around Waterloo and Lambeth North.
In many cases, they replaced offices and other workplaces which offered large numbers of good jobs. Instead, hotels offer small numbers of low skilled-jobs. There's a site off Lower Marsh
that was going to be social housing but will now be a Premier Inn.
The displacement of these workers and residents has reduced demand for shops that are useful for people who live here, replacing them with chain restaurants, coffee shops and tourist tat bazaars. The small 'supermarkets' focus on selling convenience food to visitors rather than real, actual food that you can cook.
You only need to see the run of shops from Hercules Road
onto Westminster Bridge Road
(three tat shops in 100m) and then on to Lower Marsh
to see the effects of this, or compare the offer in the Blackfriars Road
Sainsbury (an entire aisle of sandwiches and food on the run vs one chiller unit of raw meat and fish, which is usually only partially stocked) with the similar shop just off Marsham Street (three chiller units of meat, one of sandwiches) to see this.
None of this helps, or was asked for by, the local residents.
In preventing more hotels here, Lambeth council is standing up for its residents. I wish Southwark would do the same.
I hope, too, that the candidates in the next mayoral and GLA elections campaign for a locally administered hotel room tax so that the costs the tourist industry imposes on residents can be offset with better public facilities.