Would you invest here?

Share
Related Topics
The rioting on Wednesday night is devastating because it was so unnecessary. At this moment I know at least 12 black people who are out of a job because of what happened. A timber company was burnt out on Acre Lane. On top of that building there were offices and small businesses which were all burnt out: people are out of jobs now and it's coming up to Christmas.

After the 1981 riot we lost a lot of business. We had four main jewellery stores: after the riots three went because people couldn't afford the insurance. There were several menswear stores and three, four or five shoe shops. Now there isn't a reasonable shoe shop in Brixton.

We have the leading tube station in London. But people only pass through, they don't stop here. Businesses cannot get insurance because of the high premiums. If you've got a car, you have to pay very high insurance. If you were an investor would you want to invest in Brixton?

The only people who will suffer for the events of Wednesday night are the black community. Among blacks Brixton has one of the highest unemployment rates in Britain. You don't see any young people employed in the Ritzy Cinema and the Fridge nightclub.

To help the youth of Brixton we need proper training programmes. There's no one from Brixton - black or white - being used in the building works here. There are only two black labourers within the whole development on Railton Road. They are all people from outside Brixton. People talk about money being spent in Lambeth: yes, you cannot argue with that, but who benefits from it?

We need a rethink. Take Brixton Challenge: most of the people who run it know nothing about the community. The money from Brixton Challenge is going to white-dominated organisations and white businesses. People resent the way Brixton Challenge operates in Lambeth. It's a socio-economic problem, not a police problem.

The relationship between the police and the community is far better than in 1981. The autopsy that was carried out on Wayne Douglas revealed that he had no bruises: his death was caused by an enlarged heart. There's nothing wrong with people demonstrating, but there's everything wrong with people inciting riot.

A lot of people equate Wayne Douglas with Brian Douglas, who died in police custody a couple of month ago. The only equation is in name. At no time did the relatives of Brian Douglas try to create any disturbance. There was a peaceful demonstration and a march, of which the police were fully informed. The family wanted nothing to do with anything illegal.

Everybody has a role to play in a community. Church, citizens, police, schools, everybody. No one organisation can take the blame for Wednesday night. We'll have to try to improve the situation, to encourage investors. I hope the Government responds in a positive and constructive way. We'll just have to continue fighting: we can't give up.

Lloyd Leon

The writer is a former mayor of Lambeth and a publican.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Mobile Developer (.NET / C# / Jason / Jquery / SOA)

£40000 - £65000 per annum + bonus + benefits + OT: Ampersand Consulting LLP: M...

Humanities Teacher - Greater Manchester

£22800 - £33600 per annum: Randstad Education Manchester Secondary: The JobAt ...

Design Technology Teacher

£22800 - £33600 per annum: Randstad Education Manchester Secondary: Calling al...

Foundation Teacher

£100 - £125 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: EYFS Teachers - East Essex...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Critics of Fiona Woolf say she should step down amid accusations of an establishment cover-up  

Fiona Woolf resignation: As soon as she became the story, she had to leave

James Ashton
 

Letters: Electorate should be given choice on drugs policy

Independent Voices
The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

Commons debate highlights growing cross-party consensus on softening UK drugs legislation, unchanged for 43 years
The camera is turned on tabloid editors in Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter'

Gotcha! The camera is turned on tabloid editors

Hugh Grant says Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter' documentary will highlight issues raised by Leveson
Fall of the Berlin Wall: It was thanks to Mikhail Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell

Fall of the Berlin Wall

It was thanks to Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell
Halloween 2014: What makes Ouija boards, demon dolls, and evil clowns so frightening?

What makes ouija boards and demon dolls scary?

Ouija boards, demon dolls, evil children and clowns are all classic tropes of horror, and this year’s Halloween releases feature them all. What makes them so frightening, decade after decade?
A safari in modern Britain: Rose Rouse reveals how her four-year tour of Harlesden taught her as much about the UK as it did about NW10

Rose Rouse's safari in modern Britain

Rouse decided to walk and talk with as many different people as possible in her neighbourhood of Harlesden and her experiences have been published in a new book
Welcome to my world of no smell and odd tastes: How a bike accident left one woman living with unwanted food mash-ups

'My world of no smell and odd tastes'

A head injury from a bicycle accident had the surprising effect of robbing Nell Frizzell of two of her senses

Matt Parker is proud of his square roots

The "stand-up mathematician" is using comedy nights to preach maths to big audiences
Paul Scholes column: Beating Manchester City is vital part of life at Manchester United. This is first major test for Luke Shaw, Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao – it’s not a game to lose

Paul Scholes column

Beating City is vital part of life at United. This is first major test for Shaw, Di Maria and Falcao – it’s not a game to lose
Frank Warren: Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing

Frank Warren column

Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing
Adrian Heath interview: Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room

Adrian Heath's American dream...

Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room
Simon Hart: Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manuel Pellegrini’s side are too good to fail and derby allows them to start again, says Simon Hart
Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

Fall of the Berlin Wall

History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

Turn your mobile phone into easy money

There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes