*Update - I've received a 'request' to modify this post from Rochford District Council Strategic Director, I will leave you the reader to draw your own conclusions why I have received this request, but I am pretty certain it's not for the reasons alluded to!
From: "Angela Hutchings" <Angela.Hutchings@Rochford.gov.uk>
Sent: 31 December 2018 14:38
To: "Rayleigh Town" <email@example.com>
Cc: "Daniel Kudla" <Daniel.Kudla@Rochford.gov.uk>, "Shaun Scrutton" <Shaun.Scrutton@rochford.gov.uk>
Subject: Corrections to website post required
Dear Kerry I have today noticed the post (screen shot below) on Cllr Newport’s website which states that colleagues from RDC will be attending a meeting at Rayleigh Town Council to “present their strategy for helping our struggling retailers and their vision of our High Street”. This is not the case. The invitation came from you to RDC (myself and my Econ Dev colleague Dan Kudla will be attending) to discuss concerns which the TC has about its High Street and for us to share some ideas. The text of your email is copied below in red for ease of reference.
Hi Rayleigh Town Council is concerned about businesses in the town centre as a number are up for sale and shops often become cafes and restaurants or remain empty for a while. It would be good if we work together to try to come up with any ideas or a strategy to preserve our High Street. We know that this is a nationwide issue and we are more fortunate that some other town centres but we need to help businesses as much as we can as Councils. Would a representative from the Economic Development Team like to come to one of our Full Council meetings to discuss this?
I shall be grateful if you will please ask Cllr Newport to amend his website as I am concerned that it is setting expectations for members of the public which will not be met on the night. Many thanks, Angela
In Rayleigh, we can be reasonably proud of our High St, but we can not be 'asleep at wheel'. We're in uncertain times for our High St and I don't think we can afford to be complacent of its ongoing success.
I've recently spoken to many local small business owners in Rayleigh, who are equally as worried about the future of the High Street, after all, this is their livelihoods. With many businesses 'quietly' up for sale and empty retail units we have to do something before it's too late. Drawing on these informal discussions I've put forward to Rayleigh Town Council, that an invite should be extended to Rochford District Councils economic development team (which they've accepted) to present to the Town Council their
strategy* ideas for helping our struggling retailers and their vision of our High Street.
This doesn't just fall to one council or another, this needs community involvement. The retailers want you to shop in our town, but they too need to provide the services and products you want - so it's an all round effort that's required.
I'm looking for members of the local community to get in touch with me and put forward their ideas and questions so I can ask Rochford District Council on their behalf and hopefully together we can boost our local trade.
The meeting will be held on 25th February at 7.30pm at the Town Council offices.
Like him or loathe him Mike Ashley talks about the future of the High Street