2020 - Time for a new vision for New Malden

Pearson Hards's roots in the Village of New Malden go back a long way. 

John Pearson founded his practice in 1963 and just over 30 years later joined forces with C A Maddin, a longstanding firm which had been serving the people of Surbiton since 1928 to become Pearson Maddin. In October 2012 Pearson Maddin merged with another New Malden firm, ACS Hards & Co to become Pearson Hards LLP.  Three years later, in 2015, Sutton and Morden law firm John Chapman & Co became part of Pearson Hards LLP. John Chapman & Co was founded in the 1950’s serving clients in Sutton and the surrounding areas.

Just has the nature of the firm has evolved over the years, so has the nature and character of New Malden.  Once it had its own identity and sense of community, to those that lived there it was “the Village”.  Today there is a danger that New Malden is seen as becoming no more than a suburb of Kingston and is at risk of losing its individual identity. 

The campaign mounted before Christmas, encouraging people to use their local High Street shops, shows that the challenges faced by High Street retailers are nationwide.  Out of town shopping centres and big town centre malls, together with the vast range of choices online, make it a very tough environment for local retail businesses.  The situation in New Malden is no different from other High Streets up and down the country.  Our High Street is suffering terribly, with empty shops standing as mute testimony to the difficulties faced.  The closure of the Tudor Williams department store after over 100 years trading was itself a huge shock and the loss of the store has further reduced the number of people using the High Street for their shopping.

Of course there is more to the business community in New Malden than just on our High Street.  We are very fortunate to have separate shopping districts as well as a large number of people working in business from home or office spaces in the Village.  All of these businesses provide a valuable contribution to New Malden.  As a firm we are very conscious of the challenges that face the business community in New Malden. We have resolved to do what we can to support the business community by improving relationships between local business people and engaging those who work from home, to draw them into a wider business network.  The firm has decided to become Patron members of the Kingston Chamber of Commerce so as to be better able to act as a voice for business in New Malden in discussions concerning the Borough as a whole.  We have a vision for 2020 that a better, more active, business network will improve the flow of information and comment to and from those more at the centre of things in Kingston. 

We also believe that better communication between local businesses and residents will help potential customers in the area to understand and make use of the wide range of goods and services that is offered by the business people of New Malden. 

So where to start?  We believe that the first steps must be to engage with and consult with those who live and work in the Village. We aim to gather a small steering group to reach out to the business community in New Malden and to discuss their concerns and ideas for the future.  We will also be seeking to discuss local matters with those who live in New Malden and seek their input.  Once there has been sufficient discussion and research we will be able to develop plans for the future that will be for the benefit of all. 

It will take some time to get to this point.  Please watch out for posters and other messages relating to developments, and please share and discuss ideas with your neighbours and friends.  We will soon be setting up social media platforms to help with this process.  Please use the platform of your choice to let your thoughts and feelings be made known.

New Malden is our Village.  If we wish it to retain its own special character and amenities we must all work together to protect and support the businesses and institutions that are so important.