Town in need of a business plan

THE Advertiser of 22 November trumpeted what Test Valley Borough Council considers to be a coup in respect of minor car parking changes in the town, while Richie Towerton’s letter got more to the nub of the problem, slating the paucity of good shops and facilities in the Town Centre.

He highlights the real problem, that the town as whole has been let down by TVBC.

The Andover Summit has spent 15 months coming up with a few items of window dressing when what is needed is a root and branch review of the town’s social, commercial and industrial centres.

A hard-nosed business plan is required to breathe some life back into the town.

TVBC has ample scope to effect changes, having control or influence of the rental costs on many properties in both town centre and the industrial estates, and of course control over business rate levels.

Only by doing this can business be attracted back into the town, to grow both employment prospects for the residents and turnover prospects for all businesses.

Car parking is the icing on the cake and Liz Ferla’s letter of 8 November reminded us of Swindon’s successful approach with four hours parking for £2 encouraging people to spend longer in town, increasing both footfall and trader income.

However, TVBC is controlled by Cllr Ian Carr and his Conservative cabinet.

I really cannot see anything sensible happening. Once again, I call for his resignation and dismantling of the cabinet system of local government.

Cllr Tony Hooke Hampshire County Council

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