READER LETTER: None of ideas for improving our town were ‘thrown into a bin’

Christmas shoppers in Worksop town centre
Christmas shoppers in Worksop town centre

I’d like to respond to the letter from Fred Foster which appeared in the September 30 issue (‘What happened to improving town?’), particularly to address some of the issues he raised regarding the town centre consultations that took place in Worksop and Retford.

Firstly, I’d like to reassure Mr Foster and all of the Bassetlaw residents who took part in this consultation that contrary to Mr Foster’s comments, none of these ideas were; “screwed up and thrown into a bin.”

The consultation days in Worksop and Retford took place in March 2015 and were run in conjunction with an online survey, the results of which were published in a summary document called ‘Worksop Futures’ in June 2015.

During the six-week consultation we received 2,629 individual comments from Bassetlaw residents, which included speaking to around 150 people who came to see us in the town hall at Worksop.

Unfortunately, it was not possible to contact Mr Foster or any other individual resident who took part in the consultation.

However, articles appeared in the local media at the time, as well as on the council’s website and social media accounts, to advertise the ‘Worksop Futures’ summary.

This can still be found on the council’s website along with the recently published ‘Worksop Intervention Strategy’, which was written as a direct result of the consultations and sets out the council’s ambitions, vision and strategic objectives for Worksop and its town centre.

This strategy addresses a number of issues such as ensuring that Worksop is a great place to live and work in, has a vibrant town centre providing quality shopping and entertainment, and creates an environment in which local businesses can thrive.

Over the coming months and years, we will continue to work with key stakeholders, such as the Worksop Business Forum, Civic Society, land owners and landlords, Sheffield City Region and Nottinghamshire County Council, in addition to Bassetlaw residents to bring these plans to fruition and improve the experience of visitors to our town.

We have also applied to the Heritage Lottery Fund for grants that will enable the council and landlords to regenerate historical buildings at the top of Bridge Street and safeguard Worksop’s architectural heritage.

As a council we have a strong commitment to make our town centres a welcoming, attractive and safe place to visit and to increase the number of visitors who choose Bassetlaw for shopping and entertainment.

We also value the involvement of local residents and businesses in the achievement of those ambitions and I am confident that we will all start to see the fruits of these labours in the near future.

Coun Jo White

Deputy leader and cabinet member for regeneration at Bassetlaw District Council