Last week, Mid Sussex District Council decided to spend £14,255 of Burgess Hill’s community infrastructure money on banners and festive lighting for new lamp columns along Queen Elizabeth Avenue as part of the boulavard project.
The council believe that such expenditure will enhance the gateway into the town and will increase footfall in the town centre.
In the report for the justification of spending the £14,255. It says…
The banners and festive lighting has strong support from Burgess Hill Town Council which was reiterated at the Town Council Customer Service Key Area Group held on Tuesday 11th June 2013.
Source: Boulavard Report
Which is funny as a member of Burgess Hill Uncovered attended that very meeting and the project hardly got a mention, let alone councillors expressing strong support!
Queen Elizabeth Avenue – Soon to be filled with giant lamp posts, banners, lighting and trees.
The report also says:
Queen Elizabeth Avenue is the recognised gateway to Burgess Hill Town Centre and the erection of advertising banners and festive lighting will support the work that the Town Centre Partnership is undertaking to increase the foot fall and dwell time within the town centre. Burgess Hill Town Council is currently applying for the relevant planning and highway consents to erect the banners and festive lighting. The advertising banners will be used to advertise the town centre as a whole thus assisting with its economic development or initiatives such as the Burgess Hill Festival that will benefit the whole town.
….. These are due to be installed during the summer either just before or during the cycle lane work in July/August 2013.
Are these banners really going to increase foot fall and dwell time in the town centre on a regular basis? How often does the town centre hold events which could draw people in?
The Queen Elizabeth Avenue Boulavard project has already caused some controversy. The District Council decided to spend £5,000 of community infrastructre money generated from the housing development in Manor Road to fund test digging of holes on Queen Elizabeth avenue for new trees. Each hole will cost £280 to dig!
A district councillor expressed his disappointment at a meeting that money designated for his ward was being being spent elsewhere when section 106 money is supposed to make improvements to the local area where new housing is built.
It seems MSDC make up the rules as they go along as to where they spend the money!
Talk to us!
Is it worth Mid Sussex District Council spending thousands of pounds on special lamp posts, festive lighting, banners and trees in an attempt to boost the town centre? Could the money be better spent on other schemes to help the town?