Council chiefs are demanding actions rather than words in order to ensure promises to bring improvements in Burntwood are delivered over the next 12 months.
The plea for progress on the Town Deal Partnership and the Area Action Plan has come from Burntwood Town Council leader Cllr Sue Woodward and deputy leader Cllr Darren Ennis.
They are calling for discussions to forge a way forward following delays to Lichfield District Council’s Local Plan and the ongoing need for funding from Staffordshire County Council for road improvements at Sankey’s Corner.
Cllr Woodward said:
“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 Sue Woodward, Burntwood Town Council
Cllr Ennis said there needed to be a more joined up approach to solving the problems that have blighted the town previously.
“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.”Cllr Darren Ennis, Burntwood Town Council
“Address the historic shortfalls”
The Town Deal Partnership, made up of representatives from all three councils covering Burntwood, has previously agreed a set of actions, including an Area Action Plan “to develop and agree a statutory framework for the regeneration of Burntwood”.
Work on this is due towards the end of 2022, but Cllr Woodward said this now needed to happen sooner rather than later.
“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.
“Further agreed actions include improved access to primary and community care and improved marketing of commercial opportunities to encourage inward investment.
“We want action rather than words.”Cllr Sue Woodward, Burntwood Town Council