Emerging features of town plan

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First published in News

A VISION for the future of Evesham is just weeks away from being completed in the form of a town plan.

More than 1,000 people from Evesham have contributed their thoughts and opinions on what they want for the town following months of consultations.

The data is now being compiled into a report, which is set to be presented to the town council in August.

Chairman of the steering group, Patrick Staines, revealed some of the main topics emerging from the consultations at the town council meeting on Monday.

He said: "There is a huge amount of data to pull together. What we are creating is a vision of Evesham for the future reflecting the needs and aspirations of residents and users of Evesham.

"More than 1,000 people have contributed. Statistically we are very strong. We had more than 6,000 comments and suggestions in all."

Of the suggestions the biggest amount, 767, were made concerning the town's shops. And of those 306 were negative and Mr Staines said there was a huge amount of comments on parking.

He went on to say: "There are many people that feel they can't make a difference. That leads to frustration and occasionally outbursts.

"I think it's also important to recognise that there is a huge reservoir of good will in the town as well, that we some how need to tap into.

"There are a fantastic number of positive and forward looking people in Evesham. It's a great strength in the plan that these are the sort of people who have contributed to it."

The main points of the plan, would be, Mr Staines believes, economic regeneration, addressing the question of growth and he hopes the plan will provide a vehicle for continued dialogue between the community and the decision makers.

Mr Staines presentation was welcomed by the town council, with Mayor councillor Charlie Homer thanking him and the steering group.

His overview was followed by Sean Riley, manager of the Evesham Market Town Partnership, who discussed a different set of data collected nationally, which the council assisted in funding.

The data, which is collected by the Local Data Company, revealed the trends in Evesham, such as how many vacant stores are in the town compared with the national picture.

The current data was last collected in July last year but showed Evesham to have 358 units with a 16.2 percent vacancy rate, which compared well to towns in the region.

Mr Riley added that the vacancy rate in the Riverside Centre was higher at 47.2 percent.

Cllr Homer said: "The two presentations that we have had tonight show that we are taking the challenges faced by Evesham very seriously."

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