Portas Pilot project exposes farcical handling skills of Grant Shapps

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The government defended its handling of the high street crisis this week, as written submissions to the forthcoming Business, Innovation and Skills committee inquiry on retail were published.

BIS says “town centres up and down the country are being energised” and have “seized the opportunities” on the back of the Portas review.

“Shapps’ handling of the Portas Pilots project has been farcical”

Ian Quinn, chief reporter

But retailers disagree. The Co-operative Group called for a full review of the Portas Pilots programme, revealing it had been plagued by fallouts between councillors and town teams the BRC accused ministers of ignoring key issues and the ACS called the coalition’s response “unconvincing”.

The bigger question, surely, is what MPs will make of the way the Department for Councils and Local Government handled the Portas Pilots after FOI documents revealed how Portas and her TV crew dictated its policy. It’s not Portas who should be hauled in to explain this, but Tory chairman Grant Shapps. His handling of the project (see my blog) is so farcical it would be too far-fetched even for Channel 4.

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