Free bags for Hornchurch shoppers, but another business teeters on the brink

The diversions around Hornchurch High Street

The diversions around Hornchurch High Street - Credit: Archant

Havering Council says it is doing its bit to support Hornchurch traders, as another High Street store could announce its closure this week.

Shoppers visiting Hornchurch this weekend can pick up a free reusable shopping bag from participating stores thanks to the new council scheme.

Before then, travel agent chain Thomas Cook – which also has a Romford site - is expected to announce which of its 195 stores are to close.

The company says it is making the moves part of a restructuring and to slash administration costs.

Havering Council’s regeneration work is expected to continue until early summer, with a section of the High Street – between Billet Lane and North Street - closed to traffic.

Cllr Robert Benham, cabinet member for community empowerment, said: “We realise that the works are causing some disruption and can be off-putting, however we are trying our best to minimise this.

“We want to show our support to local traders by carrying out an extensive campaign to tempt shoppers to Hornchurch while the works are taking place. We are offering these free bags as part of that campaign, however there is more to come.

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He added: “I’d like to take this opportunity to ask traders and visitors to bear with us while the works take place. A brighter Hornchurch is on its way.”

But Terry Jeffers of TEJ Domestic Appliances in the closed section of the High Street said: “We’re still open as normal for what its worth, but no one is walking past at the moment, its absolute chaos.

“The council didn’t need to do all this, it’s a waste of money.”

Shoppers can pick up a free bag from participating stores on Saturday.