I’ve started to notice an unwelcome trend developing on our high street in Teddington – the blight of the empty shop. It’s only a few at the moment but these things have a habit of escalating until you end up with the situation that developed in Buckingham where the town centre ended up being populated by a few banks, a couple of pubs and barbers/hairdressers, an growing clutch of charity shops and the rest just lying empty. The few remaining shops actually selling fresh and new products were seen off by the opening of a Tesco express which hoovered up the last bit of town centre trade not already attracted to its superstore no more than half a mile away on the town’s ring road. Before we’d left the town had lost its only clothes shop, hardware store, toy shop, book store, wine shop, two out of the last 3 jewellers and of course its Woolworths. It’s nothing like as bad in Teddington which remains bustling and has a varied shopping scene but I pass by a few shops every day and hardly ever see a soul in some of them. Have you noticed something similar in your town and wonder how a few of them manage to survive?