Leaders call on partner authorities to 'deliver on promises'

Leaders at Burntwood Town Council are calling on their partner authorities to “deliver on their promises” in 2022 and help to regenerate the area.

Burntwood. Photo: Google
Burntwood. Photo: Google

They are pushing for Lichfield District Council and Staffordshire County Council to provide funding for an area action plan for the town and calling for an early meeting to ensure they are aware of the opportunities and challenges Burntwood is facing.

The Town Deal Partnership, made up of representatives from all three councils, previously agreed a set of actions including a plan "to develop and agree a statutory framework for the regeneration of Burntwood" that would be part of the Local Plan.

Work on this is due in the summer but Councillors Sue Woodward and Darren Ennis say this needs to happen as soon as possible.

A further agreed action - a "priority issue" - is the implementation of the proposed traffic management scheme at Sankey's Corner to address "the historic shortfalls both within the town and to the wider area”.

Cllr Woodward said: "We want action rather than words.

“We at the Town Council are doing all we can to ensure that development goes forward with a shared understanding of the town's needs and aspirations but the fact is that the town council does not have the resources to make the action plan for Burntwood a reality.

“That's where we need both the district and county councils, along with the Local Enterprise Partnerships, to start pulling together the funding including Recovery Grants from Government to make these aspirations a reality.

“We will continue to lobby and make our own contribution but the big bucks will only come via the larger councils. It's time now that they stepped up to the challenge."

Cllr Ennis added: "The town has suffered in the past from a lack of overall strategic planning, with parcels of land being developed - or not - in a completely haphazard way.

“That's why we need a Strategic Action Plan and the funding to make things happen. We are not there yet but it's time for District and County representatives to put their shoulders to the wheel and deliver for a Better Burntwood in 2022."

Councillor Doug Pullen, Leader of Lichfield District Council said: “We are doing more than ever to work closely with parish councils such as Burntwood Town Council - that’s why we allocated funding to support the successful pilot Burntwood Town Market, why we are leading the Burntwood Town Deal and why we have committed to the area plan for the town.

“I’m looking forward to continuing our strong working relationship with Burntwood Town Council into 2022”.

Staffordshire County Council’s cabinet member for highways and transport David Williams said: “We are committed to working closely with colleagues at the town council to support the delivery of their priorities to regenerate Burntwood and improve its infrastructure.

“Our transport team has drawn up a comprehensive feasibility report which details several improvement schemes.

“We’re pleased that after securing £128,000 from the Government’s Getting Building Fund for one scheme, it will get under way shortly.

“This will see the creation of a 300m cycle and pedestrian route along the A5190 Milestone Way between High Street and Sycamore Road.

“It will also include an upgraded toucan crossing and footway widening, providing space for cyclists.

“While we do not have allocated funds for the other schemes at present, we will continue to make every effort to secure these from developers and other sources wherever possible.”

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