DCSIMG

Speaker’s corner: Shop local to support our town investment

Leader of Dacorum Borough Council Andrew Williams

Leader of Dacorum Borough Council Andrew Williams

  • by Andrew Williams, Dacorum Borough Council leader
 

Over the last few months I have written in Speakers Corner about the many exciting projects that are happening across Dacorum and especially in Hemel Hempstead to revitalise our town and bring new life and vitality to the area.

Over the last few months I have written in Speakers Corner about the many exciting projects that are happening across Dacorum and especially in Hemel Hempstead to revitalise our town and bring new life and vitality to the area.

We have been successful in securing over £2.4 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund to help fund the refurbishment of the Jellicoe Water Gardens.

The project will sympathetically restore the gardens to their original Jellicoe design and includes funding for ongoing maintenance to ensure that once restoration is complete they continue to look their best.

I would like to thank all those involved especially the Friends of the Jellicoe Water Gardens for their hard work and support.

On July 12 I joined members of the regeneration team in the town centre where plans were on display for the Pedestrian Zone, Bank Court and Waterhouse Street as well as the bus interchange and a model of the Market Square and Public Service Quarter development.

Many residents took the opportunity to learn more about the planned improvements and to make comments.

All of the plans can be viewed online –www.dac
orum.gov.uk/hemelevol
ution – and there is also the opportunity to leave your comments.

On Saturday I was delighted to be able to attend the Old Town Street Festival and Dacorum Folk Fest.

It really did show off the Old Town at its very best and it was great to see so many people visiting and enjoying the High Street which is a real jewel in the town.

Again I would like to thank all those involved in putting together the event.

I am sure this was the first of many events which will show off the Old Town and its many attractions.

I know from speaking and listening to residents as well as the reading the many online comments that there are very mixed views about our town.

What should be done to make it more attractive to visit for both shopping and leisure?

How can we help it to compete with the challenges from the changing way we shop?

I am certain that the investment planned across the town centre over the next three years will address these issues, making it a great place to visit and giving us all more reason to be proud of our town.

I think we all know what a great town we live in and with the support of all of us it will get even better.

If we support our old and new town centres we will get new shops opening and fewer empty units, something I know we would all welcome.

So I ask you all to think as you plan your next shopping trip to think local and support your local town centre as this will ensure that we really secure the long term benefit of the investment we are making now.

 

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