Think fast for a part in Portas Pilot

A ‘FANTASTIC’ opportunity for a high street rejuvenation scheme worth £100,000 had to be turned down by Billingshurst Parish Council due to a ‘ridiculous’ time limit.

Mary Portas has put together a ‘Portas Pilot’ which will award up to £100,000 to towns which prove themselves eligible of becoming a ‘town team’ by the March 30.

Councillors at a Billingshurst Parish Council meeting on Wednesday night (March 7) discussed the opportunity and councillor Garry Commins pointed out that ‘the time limit of two weeks is ridiculous’.

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The Portas Pilot states that a town team will act as ‘a visionary, strategic and strong operational management team for high streets’.

Town team hopefuls have to put together a committee to ‘articulate a vision for the high street’ which follows a strict criteria and can be replicated elsewhere, along with a supporting submission video outlining why their pilot should be chosen.

Councillor David Hart said: “It is a fantastic opportunity for any town that can do it in the time.”

But Mr Hart added that he thought it is ‘spectacularly naïve’ for the government to think that a plan created to be implemented in Billingshurst could be implemented in other towns.

For more Billingshurst news, including a story on a Jubilee flag and a 20 mile per hour speed limit proposal, read this Thursday’s County Times newspaper.