September 25th, 2016

Move to abolish town group stirs concerns

Move to abolish town group stirs concerns Move to abolish town group stirs concerns
Updated: 5:12 pm, May 06, 2015

THE CHAIRMAN of Pershore Market Town Partnership hopes local groups will not lose their voice should council chiefs decide to abolish the body.

Town resident Michael Amies spoke out after Wychavon District Council’s executive board recommended market town partnerships in Pershore, Evesham and Droitwich should be abolished.

Since launching 12 years ago, the Pershore Market Town Partnership has helped make significant improvements to the town

delivering projects including helping with the creation of the Number 8 Community Arts Centre on the High Street and Avon

Meadows – the town’s wetlands conservation area.

But following a review, Wychavon bosses claim the three partnerships are no longer required to contribute to many of the requirements which were necessary a few years ago.

Despite the proposed axe, the move will see the three managers of each partnership Steve Knight (Pershore), Shawn Riley (Evesham) and Janet Yates (Droitwich) remain in their posts as ‘Town Managers’.

Mr Amies told the Observer he was saddened by the prospect but not surprised given the changes to the community

“The Market Town Partnership has been a terrific benefit to Pershore helping make vital improvements for the community on a non-political basis,” he said.

“Given the changes to grants and how they are operated now this was not a surprise. It’s a pity but I don’t oppose it.

“The fact the town managers are still in place I think is vital moving forward as they can continue to focus on each town and will help carry on the good work which has been done,

“But what I do think is important, that the Partnership did well, is establishing good relations with organisations within the town and listening to what they had to say.

“I hope the changes will not mean influential organisations in the town losing their voice. It would be nice to see a similar group or committee in place to make sure all parties could continue to be heard.”

Paul Middlebrough, Leader of Wychavon District Council, added: “We recognise the exceptional work of the Droitwich, Evesham and Pershore Local Strategic Partnerships over the years and appreciate partners’ involvement, commitment and

time in delivering many key projects.

“We have an opportunity to improve the focus, direction and impetus in terms of how we support our towns and villages.

“We are pleased to confirm the permanent appointment of three town managers who will continue to develop and maintain strong working relationships with the town councils, promoting tourism, festivals and above all economic prosperity.”

The final decision to approve the plans will be made when Wychavon bosses hold a meeting on Tuesday, July 29.

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