A FORMER Leederville trader has called for more love, care, and parking spots for village centres lest they go the way of ailing Subiaco.
Trent Durward ran the kids’ toy store Henry Hiccups in Subiaco for three years before moving to Leederville in 2013 for a five-year stint.
Now gearing up for a run for Vincent council, he says: “I am acutely aware and experienced in how important our urban villages are to the vitality of our neighbourhoods.
“It was an amazing transition to Leederville, and while we have since moved on to new things, the one key message I have for the community: When you have elected members only worried about their own patch or single issues, and not the big picture, the town centres suffer.
“This is what I observed at Subiaco council in 2010, and Subiaco town centre is still suffering 11 years later.
Leederville’s had a run of new businesses open up recently, and he says “it’s coming back, but Beaufort Street is struggling: A bit of work needs to go into these village centres”, including Mount Hawthorn’s middle, the North Perth strip and William Street.
Leedy’s new shoots are partly in response to ABN Group moving hundreds of new office workers in, but Mr Durward says that has to be handled carefully too. He wants an audit of parking in the area to see how the load is affecting parking for other businesses (ABN was built on what used to be a carpark) and he’s urged the council to hurry up with long-discussed plans to build a new carpark in the area.
Life changes (and Amazon’s incursion luring people away from shopping local) saw him move on from Henry Hiccups in 2018, though he still works in the ville as a planner and developer and was chair of town team Leederville Connect until he stood down to nominate.
He says Leederville Connect’s done a lot of good for the area holding events and improving public spaces and if elected he wants town teams and community groups to be more empowered and better funded by council.
by DAVID BELL