High Street, Town, and City Centre Commission
The Council has 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 will make the work of this commission more vital than ever. The economic impact of COVID-19 is yet to be fully understood, but in responding to this crisis the Council is 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 will meet six times using Microsoft Teams from June to September 2020. It will be supported by officers to develop collaborative and practical recommendations so that the Council and local partners can play their part in the economic recovery of our high streets, including an appropriate action plan for future activities that considers over-arching themes, as well specific measures in individual town centres.
Areas of focus of the Commission will include analysis of economic impact of COVID-19 and other factors facing the high street, review any relevant reports and plans for high streets produced by the Council, consider various national publications regarding town and city centres, consider the local and national legislative framework that supports or restricts town centre growth and develop recommendations for change, receive expert witness reports from officers, Business Improvement Districts, local traders and residents where appropriate.
The final report of the Commission will be presented to Cabinet in November 2020. If approved, its recommendations will be reviewed by relevant regeneration boards and considered in line with current plans and proposals.