A POPULAR Canvey children’s toy store has closed down.

Gizmos, in Furtherwick Road, shut unexpectedly and joins a number of other boarded up stores on the street.

Staff at neighbouring stores said they believed the owners of the toy shop had been finding it difficult to cope with rising rates and a lack of trade.

Quirk Deacon estate agent, which neighboured Gizmos until recently, has relocated, while several other shops have been left empty.

The Echo reported on Wednesday and Thursday last week how a number of traders were finding it increasingly difficult to support their businesses.

Stores, including Discount Pet Superstores and Happy Days, said the amount of passing trade had dropped in the High Street since parking charges were introduced by Castle Point Council at the start of the month.

Shoppers who had used Oak Road car park are now charged 40p an hour and cannot stay for longer than three hours.

Canvey county councillor Ray Howard said he was sorry to hear the news.

He said: “In all my years of public service I have always been a great campaigner for jobs and it saddens me to hear of another closure.

“Obviously I will look into it and if there is any way I can help, I would be more than happy to.

“Being a toy store, I suppose if they had a bad Christmas, this wouldn’t set them up well for the year ahead. It is a real shame.”