Town Centre Task Force motion is approved

Carla Lockhart MLA with Council Colleagues Mark Baxter and Terry McWilliams
Carla Lockhart MLA with Council Colleagues Mark Baxter and Terry McWilliams

A Town Centre Task Force is one step closer after a motion was passed by the council.

DUP MLA Carla Lockhart told the Leader that she is pleased that the next step in the process for setting up a Town Centre Task Force is underway.

It is hoped this DUP motion being passed will be the catalyst that will bring differing authorities together to work towards regenerating, revitalising and reinvigorating local town centres.

She said: “This has been on my radar for sometime and I am delighted that the wheels are in motion for some action to be taken. I have spent much time speaking with and encouraging our local traders to continue trading and to assist them in whatever way possible however, town centre trading is getting more difficult and without a concerted effort from our authorities we could see further closures and if fact the complete demise of them.

“Therefore my aim is to bring together traders, chambers of trade, council representatives, the Department for Communities, Finance and the Economy in a bid to look at funding, rates, events and infrastructure to tackle the real needs of businesses.”

She added: “I am delighted to have worked with and assisted the DUP Council group in bringing forward a motion to that effect. It passed with a majority with one amendment to the word “Force”. Councillors thought it best to have “Forces” which is understandable given the differing needs within our main towns. I trust that this will be the start of a new innovative way of looking at our town centres.

“There is a need for everyone to work together to increase foot fall, drive down vacancy rates, encourage new business start ups, improve the infrastructure and drive down rates.”