Ross Playle, Witham Northern’s Conservative candidate for next year’s Essex County Council elections has welcomed the news from Braintree District Council of improvements to Witham Town Centre public realm as the building block for a new Town Centre masterplan.
The improvements to be delivered include widening footways, improving street lighting, refreshing street furniture and introducing new wayfinder signs along with cycling racks to encourage people to cycle into the town centre. Works are set to be completed by Spring of next year.
The physical improvements will be complemented by a programme of events and markets designed to increase footfall and bring people back into the town centre, which Braintree Council remains committed to supporting once current restrictions are lifted.
Ross is now calling for this to be followed by an ambitious ‘Town Centre Masterplan’ to deliver greater improvements to Witham’s town centre.
Witham Northern candidate, Ross Playle, who is calling for the Masterplan said:
“I am pleased that Braintree Council are making these improvements, but this must only be the start. It creates a unique opportunity for us to build back better and to get Essex moving again.”
“This has been a tough year for retail but a new Masterplan for our town centre will mean we can lay the groundwork for better times, building a more enjoyable place for residents to visit and an environment for our excellent local shops and retailers to do business and thrive in.”
“My first priority if elected next May will be to bring Witham, Braintree and Essex Councils around the table with local business and shop owners to strike a new deal and set out our vision of the improvements needed to secure the town centre’s economic future and deliver the changes residents want to see.”
Cllr Tom Cunningham, Conservative Deputy Leader of Braintree District and Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Infrastructure, said:
“I am delighted that pending highways approval, we can get on and deliver these improvements for Witham and hopefully look forward to a series of exciting events in 2021 to stimulate footfall.”
“Witham is a wonderful town, rich in character and benefiting from a great diversity of independent shops and a range of eateries. Every town centre has suffered this year but with the right collective focus, Witham will be very well placed to ‘bounce back better’ post pandemic! I look forward to BDC playing its part in working with others to keep Witham town centre moving forward.”
Cllr Kevin Atwill, Chair of Witham Town Council's Regeneration Group, said:
"I’m keen to see these High Street improvements in place as soon as possible, and excited for the future of Witham Town Centre.”
“I'm very keen to work with the willing and able to build such a Master Plan for Witham Town Centre. It!s a beautiful Georgian High street with great potential. I see the High Streets future focused on Leisure, Services, and quality local shops to provide an experience worth coming to Town for.”