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Portas Pilot

This thread was submitted to Hazel Grove

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Artie_Fufkin
Villager

Artie_Fufkin
Re: Portas Pilot
19th February 2016 at 11:19AM
OliverJohnstone Wrote:

Since becoming a Councillor I have learned to try and lessen my rather blunt choice of words at times....


what are your thoughts on it?

I think there have been some positives but if that has been £200k's worth is debatable.

in principle, i think awarding a group of businesses a budget to promote the town is likely to get better outcomes than leaving it to the council. However, there are a lot of major issues in Stockport that can only be overcome by the council planning:

Parking issues (more is needed, it needs to be free/cheap & stop penalising customers)
Signage
Business Rates
Planning permission, landlords need to be allowed / encouraged to develop retail units to residential.


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OliverJohnstone
Hazel Grove Councillor

OliverJohnstone
Re: Portas Pilot
19th February 2016 at 12:23PM
It's a complex issue - the Council has done some good work in terms of recognising the importance of Stockport as a key transport gateway between Manchester and London.

However, the capital needed to regenerate the town centre dwarfs the Portas Pilot award. It could be used, however, to improve existing areas i.e. as you have mentioned through signage etc. We recently approved a plan to create a Business Improvement District which levies a precept on businesses to be used on project withint the area in which they are located (the Town Centre in this case).

With the Council there is a lot of investment going into Stockport town centre - alot of money invested from central government too (a fact the Liberal Democrats never seem to mention is Govt investment in the town). Too little is said about why businesses aren't moving to Stockport though i.e. our unoccupied office space is still quite high.

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Artie_Fufkin
Villager

Artie_Fufkin
Re: Portas Pilot
19th February 2016 at 6:11PM
OliverJohnstone Wrote:

It's a complex issue - the Council has done some good work in terms of recognising the importance of Stockport as a key transport gateway between Manchester and London.

However, the capital needed to regenerate the town centre dwarfs the Portas Pilot award. It could be used, however, to improve existing areas i.e. as you have mentioned through signage etc. We recently approved a plan to create a Business Improvement District which levies a precept on businesses to be used on project withint the area in which they are located (the Town Centre in this case).

With the Council there is a lot of investment going into Stockport town centre - alot of money invested from central government too (a fact the Liberal Democrats never seem to mention is Govt investment in the town). Too little is said about why businesses aren't moving to Stockport though i.e. our unoccupied office space is still quite high.



The Business improvement status is ridiculous. The idea that business can pay more business rates for something that should be done anyway is plain daft. I'd have supported it if all non-residential space was included but I note the council (with the greatest non-residential property) was exempt! The literature was great too, it explained that the likes of Argos will pay a lot more as it had a higher rateable value yet Argos are considering closing Stockport on account of the rates being too high for the income generated.
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