It’s positive to see our local communities taking further steps on the roadmap out of lockdown, with indoor hospitality businesses being reopened on 17th May. These steps help us move towards a greater sense of normality.
Local businesses impacted by the pandemic need our support, whether they be independent retailers, local gyms or cafes, restaurants or bars. This is true across the constituency, in Bollington, Disley, Poynton, Prestbury and Macclesfield.
The need for economic recovery plans is clear, particularly in Macclesfield. This is an important moment in time to press forward with initiatives to revitalise the town centre. It’s good to see the work of Macclesfield Town Centre Recovery Working Group, more public space made available outside hospitality businesses near the library and new businesses opening on Chestergate. The redevelopment of Castle Street by Cheshire East Council is also welcome, but there is more to do.
It’s time to take forward more ambitious plans at pace. Having secured £5 million from Cheshire East Council back in 2018 to improve the public realm, I am pressing the Council to deliver related projects as an urgent priority in areas such as Market Place and Chestergate. The Town Hall and new covered spaces should also be made more readily available for community events. I recently met Avanti to discuss the approach to and from the station, which will become even more important as plans for HS2 trains stopping at the station are developed.
Key local stakeholders need to be re-engaged to leverage the planned investment and crowd funding opportunities should be explored. The recent successful Eco-Summit further demonstrates the local support for sustainable change.
I will go on working with Cheshire East Council, local stakeholders, community groups and businesses to help make the town centre better reflect the vibrancy of our community spirit.