If government doesn’t help the high streets, we’ll be shopping in ghost towns

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With falling incomes and the spectre of Brexit, retailers are suffering outside the big cities – and leaving the problems to councils is no solution

Life is tough for high street retailers and likely to get worse in 2018. That’s the clear message following a difficult Christmas for most shopping chains and signals from the banks that they aim to bring a three-year bonanza of cheap consumer credit to an end, or at least severely restrict its further growth.

Supermarkets were among the survivors as shoppers chose to spend a few extra pounds on food to cope with inflation. But that meant cutbacks elsewhere.

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