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Council leader sets out plans for town

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21 JUL

Council leader sets out plans for town

By timesecholife on in All News, Uttoxeter news

A council leader has set out his plans for a town in East Staffordshire. Councillor George Allen, who lives in Uttoxeter, became leader of East Staffordshire Borough Council (ESBC) recently after the former leader councillor Duncan Goodfellow stepped down.

council leader has set out his plans for a town in East Staffordshire.

Councillor George Allen, who lives in Uttoxeter, became leader of East Staffordshire Borough Council (ESBC) recently after the former leader councillor Duncan Goodfellow stepped down.

Cllr Allen has contacted the Uttoxeter Echo to let our readers know of his plans for Uttoxeter.

This comes after Uttoxeter town councillor Rob Hawkins expressed his concern in our paper (edition dated July 6) that Uttoxeter had been left out of the current ESBC bid for the Government’s Levelling Up Fund.

Cllr Allens said: “I want to be very clear about what my priorities are for Uttoxeter over the next year or so and that is to ensure Uttoxeter receives investment in the town centre and in its sports facilities.

As a local councillor representing Uttoxeter I am quite aware of the problems and issues the town faces. Changing shopping habits on the High Street, what people use the town centre for, competition from the retail park and online market place and a definite shift towards night time evening entertainments are all very real concerns and are irreversible.

But that doesn’t mean we should do nothing and that there exists no opportunities the town can take advantage of.

Likewise, as the town expands, there are more and more people from all age groups becoming involved in sports of all kinds and so the traditional sports venues around the town are becoming crowded and in some cases are actually restricting the progress of our Towns Football and Rugby teams.

Until recently I volunteered as the Welfare Officer with Uttoxeter Juniors FC. I am quite aware of the problems grassroots sports face in finding that stable base to operate from which also has a reasonable amount of expansion available.”

Cllr Allen continued: “A changing town centre economy and the provision of sports facilities are both important priorities which I believe need strong leadership by ESBC and community involvement if we are to positively impact these issues.

Fortunately, the former Leader of ESBC, Cllr Goodfellow, provided that strong leadership which is how the Uttoxeter Masterplan came into being and with it an extensive programme of community engagement.

As a direct result of the publics engagement and the Uttoxeter Master Plan, ESBC are now progressing a ‘Compulsory Purchase Order’ (CPO) on the Maltings Precinct, a part of the town which has seen very little investment over many years.

Later this year we will be consulting further on how exactly the Maltings site will be redeveloped, ensuring local people have the opportunity to shape those plans.

We’re also currently conducting a study of car parking and access to bus services in Uttoxeter, both of which I know are important to local people. If feasible, the bus station would be reconfigured closer to the High Street, but it will not move away from the public toilets and I am working with Staffordshire County Council to find a solution to speeding cars along our High Street.”

Cllr Allen added: “Away from the town centre, we are working with Staffordshire Football Association to bring a new 3G all-weather pitch to the town and many more grass pitches to ensure there is plenty of space for our football and rugby teams to expand to.

In terms of Bio diversity, we are preparing to launch a new scheme which designates area’s which should be protected to ensure biodiversity is enhanced. We’re also launching a separate scheme which will lead to the planting of many more trees in our borough.

All of this investment will cost money and ESBC will be utilising UK Shared Prosperity Funding and capital from sites recently sold elsewhere in the Borough, such as Dove Way along Derby Road.

I can also confirm it is our intention to make a second bid to the Levelling Up Fund which potentially enables ESBC to bid for up to £20 million.

This is an unprecedented amount of funding for our town and I want people to know as both a councillor representing Uttoxeter and the leader of ESBC, I am fully engaged and very determined to level up Uttoxeter.

It is essential local people are involved in all of this work and I would encourage local residents to get in touch with me to share their thoughts.”

Anyone wishing to contact cllr Allen can do so by emailing him at george.allen@eaststaffsbc.go.uk.

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