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High Street, Town, and City Centre Commission


In 2020 the Council agreed to revisit the work of the Towns and City Group, which met during 2014 to discuss the shifts in consumer behaviour on retail and the future of high streets in our borough. The original Towns and Cities Group reported back to Cabinet in October 2014 a series of recommendations.

The COVID-19 pandemic and the onset of recent global events made the work of this commission more vital than ever, with the Commission taking a proactive approach to continuing the work of the Towns and City Working Group by identifying and understanding the key issues and actions for supporting the recovery of high streets across our borough.

The Commission virtually met six times from June to September 2020 and was supported by officers to develop collaborative and practical recommendations so that the Council and local partners could play their part in the economic recovery of our high streets.

Areas of focus of the Commission included analysis of economic impact of COVID-19 and other factors facing the high street, reviewing any relevant reports and plans for high streets produced by the Council, considering various national publications regarding town and city centres, considering the local and national legislative framework that supports or restricts town centre growth and developing recommendations for change, receive expert witness reports from officers, Business Improvement Districts, local traders and residents where appropriate.

The final report and recommendations of the Commission was presented to Cabinet in November 2020. The report can be found below. The Commission will continue to meet on a six-monthly basis to look at the progress of these recommendations and Area-based Action Plans.