Things I’d like to see:
1. The High Street: nobody anywhere has solved the problem of ‘the High Street’ ie retention of shops and other retail amenities
The Ideal: have a thriving High Street full of specialist shops, not chains, with a smattering of service shops eg coffee shops, restaurants, hairdressers etc.
The Practical: whilst nobody has solved this problem anywhere, the local authority - and perhaps the national government - could encourage retailers by offering ‘rates holidays’ especially for start-ups or independent shops; additionally, owners of shops buildings that fall vacant should be discouraged from leaving the property empty by eg being charged full business rate after about 6 months. This might also encourage lower rents.
2. Leisure Facilities: it seems to me the area is pretty well-served for this although many locals have unrealistic expectation of a swimming baths.
The Ideal: extended open spaces in the vein of Broadgate Park with use of CCTV and ‘wardens’ to protect from vandalism.
The Practical: clearly this is going to require some funding from somewhere - perhaps a local charitable trust could be set up, bidding for Lottery funding etc.
There is also a need for a ‘performance/exhibition’ space for local am-dram and music groups.
The Ideal: a purpose built hall such as at Lakeside.
The Practical: other than attracting funding from a benefactor (Paul Smith?) then insisting that such facility be included any local development such as a cinema, for example.
The Ideal: restrict the influx of cars to Beeston if possible, and encourage use of public transport and bikes.
The Practical: more and more cars are coming into the town (witness the queues on Wollaton Road every Saturday morning). We need a ‘carrot and stick’ approach: the carrot would include more frequent and cheaper electric buses and the construction of bike lanes especially on Wollaton Road.
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