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Labour motion on town centre regeneration defeated
5:00pm Friday 27th September 2013 in Local
A MOTION stating there had been a lack of clear progress on Bromsgrove's regeneration project was defeated at the latest district council meeting.
The motion was submitted by Labour councillor Rory Shannon at the full meeting of Bromsgrove District Council held on September 25.
Coun Shannon raised various issues concerning delays to the proposed work and new developments that had yet to be built.
He pointed out work on a new Sainsbury’s store had not started and said the supermarket giant could just sit on the site, sub-letting it out.
The St Johns councillor then moved on to the market hall site, questioning why a developer had not yet submitted an application for it.
He highlighted a previous council statement that work to build a cinema and retail and restaurant units was expected to be completed in spring 2014.
“Fat chance of that one,” Coun Shannon said.
Councillor Peter McDonald (Lab-Waseley) said: “We have always known Bromsgrove as a market town.
“It is miserable, down and out, absolutely awful.
“We were promised years ago the market site would be developed. It never happened.”
He added that the Conservative group were not able to sit down and have meaningful, positive discussions with developers.
Councillor Del Booth, the portfolio holder for regeneration, defended the authority's work, saying the Labour group was not considering the challenges it faced.
Coun Booth questioned why Sainsbury’s would go to the expense of building the new petrol station if the firm was not committed to building the store.
On the market hall site, he said the authority was still in negotiations with the preferred developers, which he could not name.
The debate then descended into a farce as councillors shouted in the chamber, which led to chairman June Griffiths taking the unusual step of adjourning the meeting for a short period.
When it resumed a vote was taken, and the motion was defeated.
• The latest work to improve Bromsgrove High Street, as part of the town’s regeneration project, begins on Monday, (September 30).
Improvements to street lighting start on this date, while drainage repair works are set to start on October 7.
Both sets of work are expected to completed by mid-November.
The main reconstruction of the High Street, including a new resurfaced walkway and new trees, is being undertaken in the new year.
Bromsgrove District Council leader Roger Hollingworth said: “This further demonstrates that the work on the High Street is progressing.”
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