Managers meet at Parliament for town discussion

Town centre managers at the meeting
Town centre managers at the meeting

THE FUTURE of the town centre was discussed at a meeting of the south east town centre managers.

Eastbourne MP Stephen Lloyd, who is vice chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Town Centres, hosted a meeting of South East Town Centre Managers in Parliament this week.

The gathering was convened at the request of Eastbourne’s own centre manager Chris Richards.

Mr Richards and his colleagues were keen to hear about Mr Lloyd’s work on the APPG for Town Centres and the progress in light of the Portas Report on the future of the High Street.

Mr Lloyd spoke about his work alongside the Association of Town Centre Managers (ATCM) to draw up a ‘High Street charter’.

The charter will consist of five key recommendations from the findings of the Portas Review, and it is aimed at encouraging MPs to work more closely with local authorities and businesses to ensure Portas’ work is not ignored.

The government recently announced they will trial the recommendations made by Portas in her report in 12 towns and high streets across the country, and Lloyd is keen to see Eastbourne become one of these pilots.

Successful bidders will need to demonstrate how they have the energy, enthusiasm and vision to make a real difference to their town centres, making them the hubs of their communities.

Areas will need to demonstrate how they plan to breathe new life into their high streets and shopping parades.

Mr Lloyd said, “It was a pleasure to welcome Chris and his colleagues from across the region to Parliament.

“We are extremely lucky in Eastbourne to have such a hard working and dedicated town centre manager working on behalf of Eastbourne, who shares my vision of transforming our high street.”

Mr Richards added, “I’m very grateful to Stephen for hosting the meeting.

“ Word of his continued effort with Eastbourne Borough Council and local businesses has spread and a number of my colleagues were keen to meet with him to hear about his work on the APPG for Town Centres alongside the ATCM.

“I will now be working closely with Stephen to ensure the government choose Eastbourne as one of the pilots, and we are able to share in the money being offered by the coalition.”