by Cllr Karen Chilvers on 16 March, 2017
Last night, I attended a presentation from Cllr Louise McKinlay about the strategic future of our town. I was nervous with anticipation – what was in store for our future? Because, after a long period of illness, returning to the shops on Saturday I was so disappointed in the look and feel of our town that I was hopeful that there was going to be a big announcement about the steps we would take.
All we seem to have planned however, is a mighty great fudge.
There is no vision, no strategy and no leadership. I am beginning to feel like the Tories have no plan – probably because this has clearly shown they haven’t.
Please do go along and see for yourself anytime on 17 March from 10 until 5 and 10:00-17:00 on Saturday 18 March, at Unit 36 in the Baytree Centre, Brentwood.
There is a technical explanation of customer flow and a video of people in meetings, talking about meetings and saying the word “opportunity” a lot. There are some maps to point at too, these also feature in the video of people in meetings and saying opportunity.
I pleaded with Cllr McKinlay last night to look again at this presentation because, as the leader of the council this goes in all councillors’ names. Be clear, this is not in my name, this is embarrassing.
I asked her – what sort of town do we want to be? Are we planning to be a designer mecca or are we a quaint market town? It’s not about naming retailers, what we need from our so-called-Leader is a vision. Brentwood needs a bold vision and someone that’s going to nail their colours to the mast, not just keep repeating the words “retail and leisure and green space” and hoping someone will fill in the gaps.
If you are saying well, what’s your plan Chilvers? I have gone on record with my thoughts on this. We should BE a distinct town, celebrate our market roots and offer boutique shops and a small town feel. Chelmsford has now boldly changed to offer designer shops and concept stores, we should concentrate on something else, so people have somewhere different to go.
But we are stuck in nothing&nowhere land. Whilst the Conservatives are in charge, I don’t expect it to change. When the Accord ran the council from 2014-2015 we had plans, we had a vision and we were involving local residents in an amazing way.
Now, it’s just management speak and downward spiral.
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