A brief guide to completing the Long Eaton Towns’ Fund consultation
7 November 2020
Informing your Thinking
The Government’s Towns Fund invited 100 towns to write a town improvement plan to pull down £25 million for the town. A town board was set up to decide how to spend the money. I sit on that board as a Labour Parish Councillor for Sawley. The town board has launched a consultation about how to spend that money. I am keen that as many people as possible complete the survey, so that we spend the money on things that local people really want. The board has several ideas about how to improve the town, and it tells you about them in the survey. I have written this guide to share some thoughts and information that might help you make an informed choice. It is designed to read while you are filling in the survey.
The important thing is that you complete the questionnaire and contribute your opinion. Here is the link to the survey.
The most important question is the last question (25a) because that is where you are free to put forward your own ideas. Most of the questions on the way are multi choice so it shouldn’t take too long.
If you are in a hurry you can scroll to the bottom of the fascinating first page to find a list of projects and how much they want to spend on them, Medium projects are likely to be nearer £5 million than £9 million.
Q1-Is about the roundabouts on The Green: A medium (£5-9 million) project.
No proposals have been put forward about what this will look like or how it will reduce congestion, so don’t sign any blank cheque. I have suggested some conditions below. You could say that you would rather spend the money on something else eg. housing.
- I do not want the trees on the roundabout to be cut down.
- I want to see congestion at the train station roundabout about reduced.
- No money should be spent on this until the public have been consulted on a clear explanation of how congestion will be reduced.
Q2-7a Attractive well marked walking and cycling route from West park and the canal to the town centre. A small (£1-4 million) project. It’s all good, just two thoughts:
- Local cycle businesses should be given a chance to have the cycle hire and repair located on their premises.
- Walkers and cyclists should be kept separate.
Why a bridge at Britannia Road?
Q8-The High Street and Market Place. A medium (£5-9 million) project.
“The High Street should be redesigned and upgraded to match the high design standards of the Market Place” means repaving the high street to match the market square so if you don’t want that say so at 8a.
- Do not stop blue badge users driving or parking on the high street, but do reduce the speed limit on the high street to 5 mph.
- Please support tiled murals reflecting the towns heritage, flora and fauna and the work of local artists.
Q9-11 Box office cultural hub. A medium (£5-9 million) project.
I am the town board champion for this project. I really want to know what would bring you into Long Eaton to enjoy culture, entertainment or activities like bowling. I will do everything in my power to make sure we do as this consultation tells us. So say what would make you go out in Long Eaton, for example town centre events or a cinema. I am also keen to hear from creatives, artists, musicians, poets and artistic, cultural and performing arts groups.
Q12- Flats and shops on the Galaxy cinema site. A medium (£5-9 million) project.
This is a controversial project. I have not been told how many flats will be built, or whether they will be sold or rented at the end. I am concerned that the flats will be privately rented. I think there will be 50 flats with a public subsidy of £100 000 each, or 100 flats with a subsidy of £50 000 each. I cannot agree with spending £5 million of public money on private rented flats. This is the only question with no space to comment. So say no or I don’t know.
Then say what you want at Q25a.
I suggest either finding a site for 3 and 4 bedroomed town houses that meet the housing needs of Long Eaton; And/Or; make the flats on the Galaxy site be affordable housing to buy (part buy part rent), designed to get people on the housing ladder. To find out more click Galaxy Row.
They want to put shops on the ground floor, I do not think there is a need for more shops on The Green near the Job Centre. If the project goes ahead the ground floor should be a bowling alley, unless a long lease is signed for a furniture showroom.
Q14 – 16 West Park Events Space – I have asked for a band stand near the canal. A small (£1-4 million) project.
Q17 – 20 The Stables, small affordable business units. This is the old stable block of the town hall, I support this we need more work places. A small (£1-4 million) project.
Q21 – 24 Forbes Park A medium (£5-9 million) project- This land off Field Farm road, has been out of use for years. It is perfect for the manufacturing and light engineering that is so short of space in Long Eaton. So I support this, though I am aware that some people think the site should be used for housing.
Q 24 The Low level line (which runs behind Tesco and crosses station road at the level crossing) must be taken up, or once HS2 comes the level crossings will be permanently down. If the land becomes free then there is a sound plan to use it for work places. This is a major project £15 million plus but funding would be over and above the £25 million.
Q25a Any other ideas – Have your say.
I believe that having more people live and work in the town centre is key to increasing footfall in the town centre. How and where can we do that?
The funding is for things that last, not for wages and services. And we can’t really open shops.
So what would you like in our town?
Thanks for getting involved.
Blog post published by Denise Bond, in her capacity as an Erewash Borough Councillor, Sawley Parish Councillor and Long Eaton Town Board member.
All opinions expressed in this blog are those of the author, and are not official Labour Party policy.