More than two thirds of Helston’s shops that were looked at as part of a “clone” survey were independent stores.
The West Cornwall Green Party was looking to see what percentage of towns in the area were “clone towns” and how many were what they call “home towns.”
These are towns that have a large proportion of independent shops.
Happily, with 41 out of the 60 shops surveyed being independent, this meant that Helston was indeed a “home town.”
A spokesperson for the party said: “The West Cornwall Green Party think that Cornwall’s independent ‘home towns’ should be celebrated and supported through these tough economic times.”
The research was carried out after the New Economics Foundation found in 2005 that 41 per cent of Britain’s towns were “clone towns” – ie “a place that has had the individuality of its high street shops replaced by a monochrome strip of global and national chains.”
This, the foundation argued, meant the town’s “retail heart” could “easily be mistaken for dozens of other bland town centres across the country.”
After similar surveys in neighbouring Hayle, St Ives, Redruth, Penzance and Camborne, the West Cornwall Green Party found that there were no “clone towns” in the area it covered.
Tim Andrewes, the party’s councillor in St Ives, said: “We are delighted to see that West Cornwall independent shops are a dominant feature of our local high streets. It is great for local people and tourism, and it’s more important than ever that we support these local businesses.”