Erewash Labour plans for local regeneration
11 May 2020
On Monday 4th May, local Erewash party members met via Zoom to discuss the future of the borough’s town centres.
An informative and interesting session began with Cllr Denise Bond (Shadow Lead Member for Regeneration & Planning) giving a short presentation on the government’s Towns Fund initiative – this is a scheme where 100 towns in England can bid for capital investment funding of up to £250m each and Long Eaton is one of these 100 chosen towns.
The bid documentation has an emphasis on projects that are “shovel ready”. Also, while a timetable for these projects is not spelt out, we get the sense that as well as needing to start soon they also need to be completed in the short term. Officers in the council’s planning departments are working to the assumption that projects should be around 12 months in length.
With these criteria in mind we had a really good discussion about potential improvements for Long Eaton. Plenty of members contributed and we heard some great ideas.
The meeting then turned its attention to longer-term, grander plans for the town and we talked through the merits of constructing a bowling alley, cinema, arts centre and more SME business premises.
At the last full-Council meeting that was held before the current coronavirus lockdown (5 March) the Tories announced a new portfolio position in their cabinet – Lead Member for Town Centres, and this position is being filled by Cllr Dan Pitt. The Labour Group have matched this and Cllr Gordon Thomas has been asked to work as Shadow portfolio holder.
Although the Towns Fund is only for Long Eaton, Cllr Thomas informed the meeting that the other town centres in our borough will not be forgotten and that he will be keeping the pressure on the Tories to give them the attention that they deserve too.
Details of the Town Fund can be found on the Gov.UK website here and we strongly encourage party members to go on this site and to have your say. This is how local people can influence the Town Board – the body who will decide on which projects to include in Long Eaton’s bid. This is how you can make your voice heard.