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Mary Portas brands Dartford "derelict" and "disgusting" on This Morning appearance

PUBLISHED: 10:57 03 May 2013 | UPDATED: 11:45 03 May 2013

Mary Portas

Mary Portas

Copyright Peter Gettins

Mary Portas called Dartford "derelict" and "disgusting" on ITV television programme This Morning yesterday.

The retail expert was appearing on the show to talk about the future of the high street, and said Dartford is suffering from a row of 10 shops bought by a large supermarket chain which have been empty for a decade.

She added: “The poor people of the town want something to be put in the shops or be given them back.”

Miss Portas visited Dartford, one of her so-called pilot towns, on Tuesday to be given a guided tour by council leader Jeremy Kite.

After her appearance on This Morning she tweeted, “So @TescoMedia that row of shops you’ve left derelict in #Dartford high street, when will you be moving in or doing up?”

Tesco replied: “@maryportas Agreed with council in Jan we’ll submit new plans this summer for Dartford. Fully committed to town centre regeneration.”

Miss Portas then said: “@TescoMedia while residents of Dartford wait for your decision can you clean and repair those derelict shops. #socialresponsibility.”

Dartford has been awarded £79,500 through the scheme aimed at rejuvenating Britain’s struggling high streets.

It is one of 12 towns to benefit, along with Croydon, Bedford and Wolverhampton. In the year since it was chosen as a Portas Pilot in Dartford the shop vacancy rate has fallen from 30.8 per cent to 24.5 per cent.

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