MP’s ‘disappointment’ at decision by Government

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WEALDEN MP Charles Hendry has expressed his disappointment after a business funding plea for Hailsham High Street was ignored by the Government.

Hailsham Town Council is bravely pushing ahead with plans to encourage the town’s economy despite the turn-down for the Portas Town Centre Scheme – reported in last week’s Sussex Express.

The MP was confident the business development team at the town council would not let the Government’s decision set them back.

Mr Hendry said: “I share the council’s disappointment that it was not successful in the Portas Town Centre scheme, but as they say, there were only a small number of projects from 400 entrants.

“However, I know the town council well enough to know that they won’t let this knock them back. They are completely dedicated to helping bring about the regeneration of Hailsham Town Centre, with a wide range of creative and practical ideas.”

Deputy Town Clerk Mickey Caira, also business enterprise manager, said the council would stay focused on the town revitalisation plan.

Mr Caira said: “It is hard to judge why the Hailsham bid was not chosen as judging criteria is a well guarded secret, but the odds were high with around 400 towns making submissions.”

Hailsham Town Council has now decided to fund itself some of the objectives put forward in the Portas application, using its business development plan, called ‘Hailsham: The Way Forward’.

These objectives are establishing a regular market in the town centre; marketing and promoting Hailsham; putting up more signs; introducing a ‘loyalty scheme’ and reviewing the times of limited parking in the High Street.

A powerful ‘Town Team Partnership’ with various interested authorities and business bodies may also be set up. Meetings will be held on a regular basis to make suggestions and take actions for improvements to the town.

Town Cllr Nick Collinson said: “Improving Hailsham town centre and surrounding urban areas is a priority for the town council so we are moving ahead with our town revitalisation proposals and the establishment of a Hailsham Town Team Partnership in the near future.

“The town council will now consult with stakeholders and project partners, and discuss how our short term objectives can be progressed and delivered to reflect the emerging needs of the whole community.

For more information on the town revitalisation plans contact Mickey Caira on 01323 841702 or email mickey.caira@hailsham-tc.gov.uk