Wed, 06 Nov 2019
NEWBURY Town Council has confirmed its draft strategy to improve the town centre.
Under the new tagline ‘Newbury: a town we can all be proud of’, the strategy focuses on making the town unique, welcoming, safe and well cared for.
Flagship ideas for the proposals include a new Victoria Park café, followed by potential upgrades of the City Recreation Ground and Wash Common Park, increasing detached youth work for Newbury and a new climate plan for the town.
The five-year strategy will now go to consultation, with the council discussing the plans with partners including Newbury Business Improvement District (BID), the local police and West Berkshire District Council.
The town council originally planned to hold a four-week public consultation, with residents being given the opportunity to put forward their opinions at an open coffee morning.
Those plans have now been put on hold, however, following the announcement of a General Election, to be held on Thursday, December 12.
The draft strategy will appear on the council website as well as in the Town Hall in the near future.
The new strategy is aiming to revamp the town centre, with a key aim to fund detached youth work for Newbury.
This is a form of street-based youth work provision, which operates without the use of a centre and takes place where young people are, both geographically and developmentally.
Funding cuts from central government via West Berkshire have meant there is presently no detached youth work in Newbury.
However, the town council plans to support detached youth workers in the area by working with Berkshire Youth, which will employ them.
Other plans include developing a clear and coherent strategy for town’s charter, farmers’ and artisan markets and investigating the costs of free parking to increase market footfall.
It will also lobby West Berkshire Council to redevelop the London Road Industrial Estate, make permanent the pedestrianisation of the Market Place – excluding Mansion House and Wharf Street – and provide a suitable permanent home for a Level 5 FA football facility.
The council is putting together its draft budget for the next financial year, which is when most of the strategy will be put into action.
It will then take the input from its partners, together with the draft budget and the council precept, before the final strategy and budget is agreed at a full town council meeting in February.