Is Weston high street and town centre the best it could be?
Which is why it is exciting that Weston could be in for a share of the £675 million Future High Streets Fund pot.
While writing the bid North Somerset Council officers spoke to businesses and other stakeholders such as the Civic Society and Weston Town Council about the challenges the town centre faces and to take on board their ideas as they prepared a vision to meet them.
I attended a meeting as an independent town centre business owner and asked what had been done to gather the views of residents. At this stage one ‘expression if interest’ the council didn’t see the need and didn’t have the time to hear from local people who use the town. The ‘excuse’ given was that if successful at stage one and a formal bid is invited, the council will then lead some consultation days to get the public’s view.
I think people are the experts of their own lives, and that means local residents’ voices should be heard right from the start.
Which is why I invited local residents to complete this survey.
The answers submitted before 18th March 2019 were shared with the officers writing the bid and included in the expression of interest. Thank you to everyone who completed the survey and helped ensure local people were included, as they should always be heard from the very start of any process that affects their lives.
Alongside my fellow Labour community organisers and local election candidates, the survey answers will help us understand more about how local people feel about our town centre, and allow us to consider what we could do to help improve it – whether or not the Future High Streets Fund is successful. Please complete our survey and help us shape the future of Weston high street and town centre.