Kate writes a bi-weekly column for the Burton Mail. This column was originally featured in the 29th July print edition.
Last week, Parliament rose for the Summer Recess period and contrary to public belief this is not a long holiday for politicians but actually when we are fully free from votes and parliamentary division bells to get out into our constituencies and visit groups and events at a time when we would normally be down in Westminster.
That is why I took the opportunity to invite Luke Hall MP, Minister for Local Government and Regional Growth, to visit Burton earlier this week to see for himself the potential investment sites from Burton’s successful £22.8million bid to the Government’s Towns Fund. Luke has been central to the Towns Fund scheme and I am grateful for his patience every time I knocked at his door urging him to back our bid and to award the funding required.
By visiting the town, the Minister was able to see the locations from the bid which have been recommended for regeneration and was able to discuss in detail the plans with Burton Town Deal Board members. It was encouraging after the tour of the town, speaking to the Burton Mail, that the Minister described the plans as a strong set of proposals which is why they received such a significant amount of funding from Government.
This week, East Staffordshire Borough Council launched a survey calling for ideas on another of the Burton Town Deal’s projects, the High Street linkages scheme, and I would encourage residents to take part in this and the other consultation activity that the Board is undertaking.
At the general election in 2019, I committed to getting more cash to regenerate our town centre and I’m over the moon that we have been able to achieve this. But now we really must focus minds and ensure this investment is not squandered. It is critical that regeneration transpires, and investment comes through for the future of our town centre.