Shropshire Council and Oswestry Town Council to work together on economic growth initiatives
News from (jointly) Shropshire Council and Oswestry Town Council
Representatives of Shropshire Council and Oswestry Town Council will meet on Monday 6 March 2017 to discuss the issue of longstanding vacant commercial properties in the town, and actions that could result in them being occupied and their visual appearance improved. The meeting will also be an opportunity to discuss how the councils can most effectively work in partnership on the wider economic growth agenda.
It is proposed that the councils’ initial discussions are rapidly followed by a meeting of the Oswestry Joint Economic Board (OJEB), the body that enables partnership working between the councils, on Wednesday 8 March 2017.
OJEB will examine the actions available to regenerate the vacant town centre properties – specifically in Cross Street – and it will also be able to bring together the good work already under way in the town that supports local economic growth.
Vacant commercial buildings on Cross Street have been an issue of concern to both Shropshire Council and Oswestry Town Council for a significant period of time, leading to a number of initiatives being explored in an attempt to both improve the condition of the buildings, and to see them occupied. Shropshire Council and Oswestry Town Council recognise that partnership working and a holistic approach is needed to effectively tackle this longstanding issue.
Shropshire Council’s building control team has recently inspected the external condition of the empty properties on Cross Street, and these initial inspections have not identified any dangerous structures.
Mal Price, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for planning, housing, regulatory services and environment, said:-
“A local partnership approach, making use of all available resources, has to be the way to find solutions to problems, such as longstanding empty shops that bring down the appearance of market town centres. We can use the Oswestry Joint Economic Board to work towards these solutions, and also to think more holistically and long term what the economic vision is for Oswestry.”
Councillor Paul Milner, Oswestry Mayor and Oswestry Town Councillor, said:-
“We appreciate the willingness of Shropshire Council to shape a partnership approach to addressing this problem that is of huge concern to the town council. Bringing different partners to the table will hopefully give the results that we all seek.”
Vince Hunt, local Shropshire Councillor for Oswestry West, added:-
“There is already a lot of good work being done in Oswestry by people who want to build up the economic vitality of the town. We need to support that work, and also see what can be done where there are specific issues of concern. That’s why we’re creating this opportunity for local partnership action.”