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Bishop’s Stortford the high street and the future of both.

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Presentation on theme: "Bishop’s Stortford the high street and the future of both."— Presentation transcript:

1 Bishop’s Stortford the high street and the future of both

2 Bishop’s Stortford & Me ► My name is Robert Drewett ► Lived in Bishop’s Stortford for 30+ years ► Had a business in Stortford for 25+years

3 Who Do I Represent? ► I represent myself as a resident of BS ► The business I own (Ce’) ► My family ► The Bishop’s Stortford retail group, about 60 members ► Over 2000 Customers & residents of BS who completed a development petition..

4 In what capacity am I here ? ► I have been part of this community for 30 years. I’ve been involved in discussions with:- ► Hendersons ► Chamber of Commerce ► Civic Society ► I was Committee member of the TCP (now defunct) ► Founding member of the North Street Partnership ► Founding member of the BS Retail Group..

5 So, WHY am I here? ► To encourage BS town council to take a more pro-active role in shaping the town centre. ► To ask BS council to help preserve the heart of our community and distance itself from party politics ► To offer support through consultation ► To ask the Council to stand and fight for what it believes..

6 Aren't these things we do now? ► Partly yes,…. ► But what happens after you lose major planning decisions? ► How often do you talk to the town centre business’s as a group? ► When was the last public stand you made as a group against a decision which you deemed not to benefit BS? ► By “stand” I mean embracing public opinion & enlist their support..

7 Is there NOTHING we can do? ► I am concerned that developers feed us “what we want” information but fall short on delivery. There appears to be no comeback on them. Lets take the demise of Lussmans, they were shown a town square with a bustle of river side bars. A leisure space, I think it was described. What happened to that? ► When I hear developers say “yes” it will have this, that or the other, I dont believe them, do you? ► The NEW development is having a Debenhams, a Harrods? Jackson sq was to have River Island and others. They tell you what you want to hear.

8 Their figures not mine.. ► The proposed Hendersons development has (up to) 131 extra car parking spaces. ► Of those 131, 70 have been allocated for the 100 flats, will 61 spaces be enough for the 110 bed hotel/conference centre, 1,200 seat cinema, 34 shops, 3 restaurants, a mini department store, 723 new workers and 25,000 extra shoppers, (taken from the developers own figures). I don’t think so. ► Where will the existing workers park when residents only parking is enforced around Bishops Stortford? ► There are around 300 existing town centre workers who park in the streets every day around Bishops Stortford.

9 It Doesn’t add up ► Add another 723 workers from the new development, that's 1,023 workers, where are all of these key workers going to park? And, where are all of these extra shoppers going to park? ► Its Pie in the sky and some of you support it..?

10 From 2002 EHDC parking Study ► Demand for parking is expected to increase 16% by 2011 ► Recommend increasing long stay from 610 to 850 ► Recommend increasing Short stay from 850 to 1140 ► PLUS a further 350 long stay by 2011 ► Change some pay & display to pay on foot ► Has this any of this expensive study been implemented? ► So why do we think a new development can succeed with less parking than was recommended even before Hendersons were around?

11 I don’t Believe it! ► Can anyone in their right minds support this development as it stands? ► There will have to be Compulsory purchase orders on two existing & very successful businesses, Coopers & Waitrose. ► This CANNOT be right..! ► Why allow unproven businesses an advantage over existing ones?

12 Lussmans ► In our BS Retail meeting with Mark Prisk on Friday 14th, I unwittingly used Lussmans as an example of poor planning decisions made in the Jackson Sq development. Commenting that I didn’t know how Lussmans were still trading…. Unfortunately for BS on Sunday 16 th they lost their losing battle. ► Mark “understands” our frustration, and is prepared to help. How far ???? We don’t know yet..

13 Who really benefits from these developments? ► Certainly NOT the people of BS ► You only have to look at Jackson Sq ► Net result?... A larger Sainsbury’s and a car park no one likes. Oh sorry XX number of flats. ► Where is the promised town square, river front cafés & bars, designer shops etc? ► Like a Developers promise, just pie in the sky

14 Well? ► I hear councillors say “there is nothing we can do” ► “We did all we could” ► “We voted against, we didn’t want this” ► WELL? … Is that it?.. Is that the end of the matter?.... If the Iraqis had taken that view they would still be controlled by a dictator...

15 I Know……. ► Town Councils have little power ► I also know many of you would like to do more for BS ► I know you all spend many hours unpaid ► I know many of you spend days helping people in your wards ► So what help do you get from us?

16 What do you expect? ► There is much distrust of politicians, civil servants and councils, corruption and double standards are well documented ► Sometimes it appears civil servants work for themselves first and the citizens come a distant second…

17 What do your voters WANT? ► An awful lot, im sure. Well, they do pay the bills. ► They expect a safe well policed area to live in ► Clean & tidy streets ► Amenities which make life easier for them ► Leisure facilities and open spaces to enjoy ► Easy access in & around town ► A decent shopping area ► The above are just part of a balanced society..

18 Working together ► Is the ONLY way to achieve those “wants” ► Having a single effective voice ► YOU are our representatives for BS ► At the moment there is little or no consultation with other groups ► There should be a well oiled plan that involves consultation with business & residents in all major decisions affecting BS..

19 Town Centre Partnership ► We used to have one..! ► It was under funded ► Its meetings were at best infrequent ► Nothing much got done..

20 What is TCP/TCM purpose? ► The TCP & TCM should facilitate a constant stream of ideas & actions to promote & improve the town centre. ► It should be the link between the Town Centre & the Councils ► Without an effective partnership the town is like a ship with no power, floundering in rough seas.

21 How does this help BSTC ► An effective TCP will support the Town Council in its work, offering business advice and ideas to build a better Town Centre for all. ► It will help raise awareness, support the Town on unwanted planning decisions. ► See Jackson Sq, the Schools & Hendersons…

22 Lets talk Business? ► Where is the Town Centre Partnership now? ► Why do we not have an effective TCM? ► Why was the TCP dissolved? ► WHO made that decision?....

23 But we have NO power.! ► You have the same power as the rest of us to say what you want to ► Party politics have no place in local government. ► You should be free to make your own decisions not decisions that you think are expected of you. ► You could take action & ask your town to support you with a rally or march..

24 To Conclude ► Business demands an effective TCM ► The position of TCM should be seen as an essential part of running the Town Centre. Treated in the same way as the Tourist office staff, Car park attendants, Environmental health officers or even the Chief Executive post. ► Ratepayers expect you to do ALL you can to listen to them & advise in their best interests..

25 ……..The Beginning.……. ► The last message I would like to leave you with is this… ► Form effective alliances in the town. ► Distance yourselves from party political interests ► Resurrect an improved TCP to help develop a better Stortford ► If Henderson global development goes ahead make sure the results match the plans in every way..! ► Please keep everyone informed of your progress ► DON’T give up on decisions you make, see them through.. Thank you..

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