SHOPKEEPERS are campaigning for Blacktown’s central business district to be better lit, allowing it to become as popular as Parramatta’s Church Street.
They claim the area along Main Street is a no-go zone from 6pm in winter and 8pm in summer due to the poor public lighting and no CCTV.
New Blacktown Chamber of Commerce vice-president Ara Akopian, treasurer Elias Kinnas and shopkeeper Joe Hourani met with deputy mayor Russ Dickens and councillor Jess Diaz at the CBD to seek their support for a new safety plan last Wednesday.
Mr Akopian said nothing had happened after a similar proposal for the area to be better lit was first proposed many years ago.
‘‘We now hope something good would happen under the new Liberal/Independent-controlled council,’’ he said.
‘‘Our businesses are badly affected by the lack of council’s action.
‘‘We are ready to work with the council to improve the amenity and security.’’
Cr Dickens, who is also the chairman of the council’s CBD committee, said he and Cr Diaz would raise this issue at the next council meeting early next month.
He agreed with Mr Akopian and Mr Kinnas that Blacktown CBD was unattractive as well as an unsafe zone at night.
‘‘The area was in almost complete darkness and looked unsafe when I drove past at night last week,’’ he said.
‘‘We couldn’t do much previously due to a lack of co-operation from the shopkeepers who don’t live in the area.
‘‘I am prepared to work with the chamber and local real estate people.’’
Cr Diaz said he would fight for 24-hour patrols of the CBD by police to help reduce crime activities at night.
Mr Hourani said the situation was affecting his business and residents who patronise the shops.
‘‘I don’t see why the council and the chamber could not work together for the greater good of the community,’’ he said.