FENLAND: We need positive action for our town centres

EARLY one morning, I found myself speaking with district and county councillor Alan Melton on BBC local radio.   The subject was closures of town centre shops and what could be done to halt deterioration of town centres.I am by no means the only person w

EARLY one morning, I found myself speaking with district and county councillor Alan Melton on BBC local radio.

The subject was closures of town centre shops and what could be done to halt deterioration of town centres.

I am by no means the only person who is concerned when shop fronts suffer long periods of being boarded up or with windows 'whitened over'.

The impression is poor for residents and visitors alike, and detrimentally affects business for remaining traders.


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I pointed out that things can be done and that for example a Cotswolds district council has taken vacant premises for use by local groups as an art gallery.

I also suggested that perhaps the county and district councils might consider working together to create cafe facilities aimed at young people.

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Cllr Alan Melton is the Fenland District Council portfolio holder for economic and business development, but he didn't seem to have anything positive to say at all, responding that FDC has limited resources.

I find it very disappointing that FDC seems so lacking in any vision.

I am particularly worried about Chatteris as in FDC's latest plan, Chatteris is no longer designated a 'shopping destination'; a decision made all the more remarkable by the plans to build in excess of 1000 new homes in Chatteris thus increasing the already 10,000+ population by probably 25per cent and quite possibly more.

In addition to the needs of the current population, people from all of these extra families will need jobs and somewhere to shop.

FDC needs to buck up its ideas and take some positive action.

No one wishes the charming market town of Chatteris to risk being permitted to deteriorate and ultimately become no more than a dormitory.

CHRISTINE COLBERT

Chatteris Town Councillor

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