Faversham residents put forward ideas to improve town
FAVERSHAM residents have been putting forward ideas to improve their local town at the Faversham2020 launch today.
At the Alexander Centre in Faversham, residents were able to write down their suggestions for the future Town Action Plan. According to Faversham Town Council, they want to make sure everyone has the opportunity to be involved in shaping the plan.
The Faversham2020 project will also see the creation of 'Theme Teams' to look at certain topics, such as: social community, economy, transport and access and the environment.
"We want to get as many residents involved as possible", Alison Eardley, member of Action for Market Towns and Faversham2020 said. "We would like to hear what people like and dislike. People can join these Theme Teams. We want to make sure people feel more engaged."
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The boards, on which residents could put forward their ideas, were quickly filled up. One post-it read: "Too many huge lorries in town. They are ruining old streets and buildings". "Encourage cycling in town centre with a marked cycle lane", remarked another. Another post-it called for "better mental health and addiction services". Another simply commented: "We enjoy living in Faversham".
The Faversham2020 project is a good idea according to 61-year old councillor David Simmons. "We started out in 2000 to set out a list of things we wanted to achieve. Over that period the scene has changed, so it's good to set out fresh ideas. I read on one of the post-its that the market should be maintained in Faversham. I totally agree. As a local farmer I know it's important for the local economy and it's also good for tourism."
66-year old Dennis Reynolds has lived his whole life in Faversham and would like to see the high street improved. "Some shops remain empty. I can imagine the business rents must be fairly high. Maybe the council could do something about this. We used to have a music shop here, but that's gone now. There are a couple of charity shops. Of course that's ok, but it won't attract people from out of town. It would be great to have a variety of shops."
Jo Jell, 38, is also worried about the high street. "I am a commuter so I don't get to spend that much time in Faversham as I would like to. But I want it to maintain its character and I am worried this might be at stake. I think we need to support independent shops and local business. I don't like to get the bigger chains coming in."
Over the next few months, Faversham2020 will collect all the information and see what the most important issues are, according to Ms Eardley. "We will then look at what's achievable. We do not want to raise expectations, but every idea will be kept. This will be a living document. Ideas that may not be used now might be good in future."
Click here for more information on Faversham2020.