Town centre management has increasingly featured in the news lately, what with the death of the town centre seeming increasingly likely.
Now it's time to have your say on the development of your town centre. Do you like your town centre? Do you think it can be improved in any way? What would you like to see in your town centre? What would make you visit your town centre rather than going to out of town retail centres?
North Lanarkshire Council are currently putting together a new set of Town Centre Frameworks, tailored to specific areas and reflecting the individual needs and circumstances of towns. The frameworks will be undertaken in a phased basis, commencing with Motherwell.
The first step in the process will be to carry out a town centre health check - collecting information about numbers of retailers, number of consumer visits and community safety statistics, amongst others. The next stage is to undertake a period of community consultation to give residents the opportunity to identify strengths and weaknesses, agree on key issues, identify unique characteristics of your town centre and then analyse improvement opportunities.
Councillor James Coyle, Convener of the Planning & Transportation Committee said:
"Local views and the information gathered through public consultation will help us develop a ten-year draft framework that reflects what local people and local businesses want.
"Once the frameworks have been prepared, we can go on to develop Town Centre Action Plans. These have proved extremely successful in the past, helping to deliver projects like Airdrie Business Centre, the Buchanan Centre in Coatbridge, improvements to the pedestrian approaches to Cumbernauld and extensive environmental improvements in Motherwell.
"We can't do this properly without public participation. It's vital that people get involved. So I would urge people to get in touch with us and ask for the information they need to make a real difference to the town's future."
It should be noted that a further period of public consultation will be undertaken prior to producing the Action Plans. This will let everyone work together to develop a shared vision for the town.
Councillor Coyle continued:
"This is the way ahead. Our town centres are vitally important to the county. They provide jobs, amenities and services; they are at the heart of local economy - and local communities.
"We must do everything possible to make those centres resilient to economic challenges and to make sure we're answering the needs of local traders and local people as we do so.
"Inviting those people to work with us is the best way to ensure that. I look forward to seeing the process get underway."
There are several ways to get involved:
• Call the Frameworks team on (01236) 632633
• Write to Planning & Development, Fleming House, Cumbernauld, G67 1JW
• Visit www.northlanarkshire.gov.uk/framework
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