Community leaders have dismissed suggestions that Streatham High Road is rapidly deteriorating and have pledged to secure its survival.

Politicians, council workers and campaigners have reiterated their support for Streatham High Road after one trader proclaimed that it was fast approaching its trading death.

The High Road, which was voted Britain’s worst street in 2002, has suffered severe losses in recent months with the closure of several independent businesses.

It has also seen the last skaters take to the ice at Streatham Ice Arena, as well as the closure of Streatham Kart Raceway.

And in Streatham Hill, Lambeth Council is yet to grant planning permission for the old Megabowl site, which has sat empty for months. It is understood major retailers, including TK Maxx and Marks and Spencer, are interested in setting up stores there.

Some traders said they have become disillusioned by the numbers of pawnbrokers and betting shops replacing the street’s oldest businesses. But campaigners insist they are working relentlessly to ensure the future of Streatham.

Town centre manger Angelina Purcell, who is employed by Lambeth Council, said: “Footfall everywhere is falling – even in Brixton. These are things outside of our control.

“All high streets are suffering because people do not have any money. It is nothing to do with the high street – it is to do with the economy.”

She added councils were unable to restrict that types of shops were given a licence to trade, saying: “There are statutory planning laws that if a shop falls into a certain category then we cannot stop them opening up. The betting shops have the money to take over the lets, while independent shops often do not. Landlords just want a good tenant.”

Streatham MP Chuka Umunna said he was pressing ministers to provide councils with extra cash for high streets “blighted by empty shops”.

He said the Government needed to stop “tying the hands of local authorities” and allow them to reinvigorate town centres by helping small businesses.

Mel Larsen, co-ordinator of the Shop in Streatham campaign and the upcoming Streatham Food Festival, said the high street needed a mixture of major retailers and small businesses and would benefit from the future Streatham Hub development, planned for 2013.

The council hopes the Hub, which will include a Tesco store, 250 homes, a leisure centre and an ice rink, will attract more shoppers to the area.

Ms Larsen said: “People have to believe in Streatham and have a vision. It may sound idealistic, but if the community works together we will be able to make a difference.”