In every community there is almost always a high street. From small corner shops to supermarkets, family owned shops to co-operatives. When times are good our high street flourishes the community and neighbourhood are strong and cohesive and times are good.
When you start to add things in like redundancy, unemployment, benefit cuts and sanctions then people don’t have money to spend. Every penny is spoken for so splashing out on that nice duvet cover, rug, bottle of wine or meal out stops.
Shop rent and rates go up, produce goes up because transportation costs are high and slowly the shops struggle to make enough profit to cover costs. Shops change hands, close down and the high street becomes a desolate waste land.
The effect on the community can be harsh, people spend less and less on their homes, with poor educational chances crime rates go up, ill health from poor nutrition and lack of access to basic health services affect the neighbourhood an inequality between individual’s and families becomes apparent and social segregation occurs. Those who have a job live on the nice side of the street where as those on benefit live on the wrong side of the street. It has to have an impact on peoples state of mind.
This can make for good community spirit as everyone is in the same situation or similar but often people feel displaced and on their own.