It was standing room only at the Council Offices in Tetbury as Geoffrey Clifton-Brown MP chaired a public meeting where the views of the residents of the town on a wide range of subjects were heard by District Councillors Barry Gibbs and Stephen Hirst, County Councillor Tony Hicks and Tetbury Town Mayor Caroline Morgan.
The meeting followed one held on the 6 March where the pedestrianisation of the town had been the primary focus. This time around the discussion primarily concentrated on planning and the future growth of Tetbury, with the vast majority of those in attendance of the view that there should not be a substantial increase in housing in the town and several of the current housing proposals were discussed.
However, it was recognised that there was some need for more social housing to encourage young people to stay in the town. In this connection a comprehensive list of current facilities available for younger residents was produced, but it was noted that concessionary fares for students who use the leisure centre needed consideration as some are currently travelling further afield to use similar facilities.
Concerns still remain from local traders about the pedestrianisation, but the real strength of feeling related to how long the works had taken and the quality of the workmanship. In looking for a solution to recurring worries about the pedestrianisation, there was a strong consensus that increased use could be made of the existing parking facilities in Tetbury through a reallocation of spaces and better signage for the long term free parking at Gumstool Hill and by encouraging those who work in the town to take advantage of this parking to free up space in the High Street.
Finally, the issue of healthcare provision was raised, with some feeling that Tetbury does not compare favourably in this area with similar towns in the Cotswolds.
Commenting on the meeting, Mr Clifton-Brown said “I know from my work in dealing with a huge number of letters from people in Tetbury about the considerable range of issues that are concerning the local population. Meetings such as this are a hugely effective way for people to engage with their elected representatives and speak as one on matters that affect them. I think this meeting was very constructive and I will be looking to chair another one in September or October to assess what progress has been made”
District Councillor, Barry Gibbs, re-emphasised the need for continued consultation.” We set up this meeting to better understand the residents’ priorities and aspirations – the constructive comments made at the meeting will guide us, at county, district and town council level with our future plans for the town”
Source: Geoffrey Clifton-Brown MP (The Cotswolds)