Council boss Ian Miller has rejected calls to scrap controversial pedestrian zones in Perth city centre.
Traders called for St John Street to be re-opened to traffic after the shock collapse of McEwens department store. They argue it could regenerate the area and help attract more shoppers.
But Mr Miller has told The Courier that, although he had originally rallied against the scheme, he believes the pedestrian precinct should stay in place.
The Perth and Kinross Council leader has spoken out in the first of a series of exclusive features focussing on the challenges facing the city centre.
All this week, The Courier will assess concerns raised about the Fair City’s future since McEwen’s called in administrators two months ago.
KPMG, which is handling the administration of the business, has also revealed that the McEwens brand has attracted interest from potential buyers in the UK and overseas.