Not-so-se­cret plan for vil­lage vic­tory

Huge ef­forts be­ing made to stake claim to be­ing ‘best kept vil­lage’

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - FRONT PAGE - By Jack Abell jack.abell@trin­i­tymir­

A MAS­TER­PLAN has been drawn up which is hoped will lead to Ger­rards Cross claim­ing a Best Kept Vil­lage prize for the first time in re­cent mem­ory.

The parish coun­cil and the Traders’ As­so­ci­a­tion in the vil­lage have been work­ing to­gether since Septem­ber to come up with a strat­egy which they hope will bring vic­tory for the vil­lage.

In re­cent years, Ger­rards Cross has not en­tered the contest and has in­stead seen neigh­bour­ing vil­lages such as Chal­font St Peter achieve great suc­cess in the an­nual com­pe­ti­tion.

How­ever, this year, en­ter­ing the contest is be­ing used as a spring­board for mak­ing Ger­rards Cross as at­trac­tive as pos­si­ble and to en­cour­age more peo­ple to come to the vil­lage and use its shops.

Lisa Lind­vall, who runs the Lisa La Moda bou­tique in Pack­horse Road, said: “I think it’s a great idea. There are cer­tainly a lot of things that can be done in Ger­rards Cross to im­prove the look of the place, but I think that en­ter­ing the com­pe­ti­tion will be good for the

JOIN­ING FORCES: Traders in Ger­rards Cross are at­tempt­ing to win the best kept vil­lage contest this year, in­clud­ing from left: Stephen Rod­bourne from Vi­sion Hair­dress­ing, Natalie Sch­lenker from Fego, Matt La Moda, Nimira Wasaya from Ex­cel Dry Clean­ers, Lisa La Moda (also left), Janet Ste­wart from Ger­rards Cross Book­shop and Bruce Jef­frey from Crys­tal Car­pets. Lisa

be­lieves there is a lot that can be done to im­prove the vil­lage vil­lage. If ev­ery­one joins to­gether and makes an ef­fort, I’m sure it will mean that more peo­ple come here. Lots of the shop­keep­ers do what we can but if ev­ery­one joins to­gether I’m sure that a real dif­fer­ence can be made.”

The plan drawn up by the parish coun­cil and Traders’ As­so­ci­a­tion in­cludes clean­ing-up the fronts out­side shops and busi­nesses, im­prov­ing the look of any empty shops and pos­si­bly re­mov­ing tele­phone boxes in Pack­horse Road, which are rarely used.

The groups want to in­clude as much of the vil­lage as pos­si­ble, and not con­cen­trate on just the cen­tre of Ger­rards Cross.

Signs, bol­lards and lights will be cleaned, with en­trances to the vil­lage be­ing seen as an im­por­tant area to fo­cus on.

Paul Fisher, of Fisher Butch­ers in Pack­horse Road, said: “This could be a re­ally pos­i­tive thing for Ger­rards Cross, and from a business per­spec­tive it’ll only help us to at­tract more peo­ple.”

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