FROM: Tony Corbin – Town Project Officer HCC (for and on behalf of WA/TAPT) 1st February 2007
Dear Councillors and WA Trustees
Town Action Plan Project News
Most of you will be aware that in addition to WA Trustees focus and preparations for the opening of the new Community Hall, the WA retains responsibility, within its limited resources, for progressing the Healthcheck initiated Town Action Plan Projects.
On the other hand the contract, resulting in my appointment in 2005 and my subsequent rewarding, at times challenging, but enjoyable term as the Whitchurch Town Project Officer concluded on 31st December. I have learnt much during my time in Whitchurch and have become very fond of the town and it’s people. Accordingly, I wish the town all good fortune for the future.
I truly believe that with the WA now well established, the continued commitment of Stewart Parrington and his Town Centre team, the imminent opening of the new Community Hall plus the hoped for injection of monies from HCC, BDBC and SEEDA to make the town centre more vibrant and visually attractive, the future for Whitchurch looks bright. Getting the town involved in the Healthcheck process initially and the vision of a unified successful community came from the much missed Cllr. Gill Nethercott. That said, a large part of the progress to date would not have been possible without the various endeavours and support for the Town Action Plan, community and local businesses of the Town’s elected members and officers.. May I thank you all for your support.
My focus will now shift to completing the work on the SEEDA bid and helping the WA to win the much needed matched funding. So, although the support in terms of days is limited, you should see me around once or twice a week in the town over the next couple of months. (Assuming the back and disks behave!)
I will finish with a quick summary of the main activities and the current status of the active Town Action Plan projects. In future, I understand, status will be updated for you by Jim Seamons on behalf of the WA Trustees.
In the meantime, the Town Centre project team, led by Stewart Parrington, has already successfully delivered Christmas in Whitchurch 2005 and 2006 - the former winning a Community and Social award from the South East Rural Towns Partnership - won funds for the retail survey and subsequent training programmes and with the support of local businesses, notably Brockenhurst, developed the Whitchurch Welcome Pack for new residents. Stewart's team has also been working with Tourism South East to try and get Whitchurch more firmly recognised as an attractive Tourist destination. The town can look forward to some exciting developments and some new events which will be announced as we go through 2007.
Last, but by no means least. January saw the ceremony that saw the time capsule inserted into the walls of the new Community Centre. Just what will life be like in 2107 when, in theory, the capsule and its contents will be opened and examined by the then residents of Whitchurch?