I WAS disappointed to read the Scribbler’s recent comments about Rossendale’s town centres.
Back in 2011 we inherited a boarded up valley centre site, an empty town hall and a temporary bus station – put in place 40 years ago.
Rawtenstall was a mess, and our other town centres weren’t much better. All areas had been starved of investment for a long time.
We have been attempting to address that long-standing neglect ever since.
In doing this we are bringing better facilities into the borough, like the bus station.
Why should neighbouring boroughs and their residents benefit from this type of investment and Rossendale not?
This work should also help with the longerterm sustainability of the town centres.
Wanting to improve facilities for our residents and improve the sustainability of the town centres do not seem like unreasonable principles to work to.
As for objectors – won’t there always be some objectors, no matter what we do?
The real key to understanding people’s concerns is to listen all the time and continually weigh what is being said against what you are trying to do, and if things aren’t right to change them.
Plans have been changed numerous times to the Bacup and Rawtenstall schemes to reflect opinion.
l It is good to report back that we have been able to influence the number of new homes that we will need to build as part of the new Local plan process.
Figures have gone from 5,000 new homes over the next 15 years to just over 3,000 – this is more achievable but still, in my view high given the very real challenges we face as a borough.
We need now to focus on our transport and infrastructure needs, without significant improvements the valley will continue to feel congested and over populated.
The highway capacity study that was carried out to help support the local plan should help inform future investment.
We now need to ensure that funding comes forward to make those improvements.
l I was delighted to see our planning team once again in contention for a national award last week.
Although not winners this time round the team were in the top five countrywide. Well done to all those involved.
l It is great to experience so much good weather, there is nowhere finer than Rossendale when the sun is shining. Last weekend saw the new Scootfest up at Marl Pits.
Well done to the organisers, this looks like it has great potential for the future. There are many local events and activities in Rossendale over the next few weeks, please go along and support the different groups who work hard to put these things on.
Your support will be very much appreciated.
If you have any concerns and you would like to speak to me you can contact me on alysonbarnes@ rossendalebc.gov.uk or ring me on 01706 217819 or 07817 414248.
I will be happy to hear from you.