I moved to Brixton in 1996 and I have known Nour Cash and Carry since that time. It is a wonderful local shop providing both a wide range of fresh and staple foods at affordable prices, and a huge range of ingredients from across the world. It is a joy and an inspiration to shop there, both in culinary terms and because Nour is an expression of the diverse communities it serves.
I was horrified to learn that Nour Cash and Carry had been served with an eviction notice by the owners of Brixton Village and Market Row, Hondo Enterprises earlier this year. I proactively arranged to visit Nour as soon as I was able to back in February and discussed the events that had preceded the eviction notice. I was clear then, and I am clear now that the eviction of Nour Cash and Carry is completely unacceptable and the eviction notice should be withdrawn. This is further exacerbated by the subsequent coronavirus pandemic, which has created so many challenges for local businesses and throughout which Nour has been supporting our community with generous donations to our local Foodbank.
I have written to Hondo Enterprises on multiple occasions since February, repeatedly asking them to withdraw the eviction notice. Hondo say that they need to move Nour Cash and Carry in order to build a new substation which can only be located in Nour’s unit. If this is the case, Hondo must provide indisputable evidence of it and place this in the public domain. Again, I have been clear about this and I have written to Hondo to say so. Along with the local Coldharbour ward councillors, I have met with Hondo twice to date to represent the views of Nour Cash and Carry and the strength of feeling in our local community.
We need to save Nour Cash and Carry. More widely, local independent businesses need more protection from government. Just as we need reform of the private rented sector in housing, we need to find ways to strengthen the national protections and support for independent businesses which are the heart and soul of our communities.
I stand with Nour Cash and Carry in a battle they should not have to be fighting to remain in their premises.