Despite the higher than average proportion of affluent residents, there is an unequal division of wealth and this Will form part of my discussion, particularly in relation to shopping and housing. I will then move on to discuss the inequalities that exist in the Polish immigrant community. One Of the first things that struck me When comparing the subject street to City Road was the inequality relating to the type of shops i. E. The number of branded retailers in comparison to independent traders. The Street’ DVD showed several examples of prosperous independents such as the Sari Shop and Exquisite Africa whereas Balsam High Road appears a clone Of most Other London high streets accommodating the usual suspects – WHO Smiths, Boots, Carapace Warehouse along with Waitress and Sunburst’s. A few independent shops exist but many have shut down over recent years due to unfair competitive pressure from the multiples and more recently the banks who are adding further pressure by not lending to smaller businesses.
Learning Companion 1 asks that we bear in mind a question asked by Simon Brimley, How are inequalities produced? The obvious inequality between the busy, wealthy high street retailers that occupy prime retail space and that of he poorly stocked independents who are being pushed out tooth high street is a trend seen across the high streets in the country and came about from 1996 when the ‘town centre first’ policy redirecting retail developments from out of town back into the town centers emerged.
In addition, demand on time means its easier for consumers to buy everything they need in a supermarket, rather than the time consuming exercise of buying meat from the local butcher, potatoes from the market and so on. Another inequality relates to housing. Balsam High Road contains a mix of social ND private housing. The Obvious inequality here is between those that can afford to purchase their own property or rent privately and pay the associated costs (utilities, council tax etc) and those on little or no income Who cannot and require subsidized living. Further inequalities exist such as the environment and quality of these dwellings.
Damp is much more common in low income homes as is overcrowding which leads to health problems and antisocial behavior. The private dwellings on Balsam High Road tend to be high spec new apartments or argue detached buildings and are all well maintained with double glazing, private parking and some with alternative energy solutions. Despite the above, it must be noted that in terms of condition of buildings, the Labor government introduced the Decent Homes Standard in 2000 and this assisted in improving the condition of public housing. This agenda is still active.
It could be perceived that the inequality tends towards the private sector who are obliged to pay for the upgrade and maintenance of their properties whilst also incurring taxes etc. The final inequality I noticed is in the Polish community. There are two Polish shops, along with a community centre and a church. The Polish population in Balsam has hugely increased since 2006, though Balsam has been one Of the centers of the community in London since World War II. In order for such a presence to exist, the Polish population here at one time must have felt isolated and their needs not catered for as did the proprietor fussiest Africa.