List is drawn up for town improvements

PUBLISHED: 13:03 09 January 2013

Archant

ALMOST £500,000 worth of improvements could be made to Burnham town centre, after councillors settled on a final list of recommendations on Monday night.

It has taken councillors and members of the town’s businesses and organisations months to compile a list of new ideas to improve the High Street.

These improvements, such as new lights, cycle racks, highway changes and a new town centre manager will cost £440,000 – funded largely from Tesco community cash to offset the impact of its recent store expansion.

Recommendations were given the green light by the majority of Burnham and Highbridge Town Council, although concerns were raised about the amounts being allocated for certain materials and roles.

Councillor Helen Groves told her colleagues the £40,000 for publicity material was ‘excessive’.

Cllr Clarke said: “Although the recommendation states ‘publicity material’ this includes technologies which could push the town in the right direction, as well as events. Now is the time to advertise Burnham.”

Cllr Bill Hancock also voiced his disagreement with the role of the town centre manager, saying £133,000 was too much to take out of the budget.

He said: “I think it’s a lot to spend on one project and I believe the money could be far better used on other visible improvements to the town.”

The list will now be sent to Sedgemoor District Council for approval.

Cllr Clarke added: “The town centre manager will be responsible for looking after events we want to encourage in the High Street and will get people interested in the town.

“We need a dedicated person who will push this forward, no-one here has enough time.

“We did have in the region of 60 different projects which have been whittled down.

“If we do not allocate this money to X, Y and Z then Sedgemoor will take the money away and that’s the cold, hard truth.”

The £440,000 fund comes from Tesco, the town council and compensation from the former South West Regional Development Agency.


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