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The Chamber has gathered testimony from women from all walks of life about their opinions of Dewsbury. Their main concern is about their sense of safety in the town. This overrides any issue about shops or buildings
This testimony was shared with senior councillors, council officers and both Dewsbury and West Yorkshire police and led directly to the creation of the Safer Dewsbury multi-agency team announced in February 2020.
We support the Dewsbury Blueprint published on 5 Feb 2020 laying out the council's vision for the next 10 years. The Chamber is also represented on the Town Board that the government requires the council to create to supervise the council's bid for up to £25 million from the Towns Fund to support regeneration in the town.
These projects include the acquisition of The Arcade and the redevelopment of the Market.
Parking. As part of a consultation in 2019 the Chamber proposed a radically different approach to parking in Dewsbury with Cliffe Street car park being converted to a Park & Ride park with no time limit. The intention is to encourage visitors to stay without any fear of penalty tickets.
While these projects convey a long term direction of travel the Chamber continues to suggest improvements where necessary.
First impressions count and the visual appearance of our streets is important. Good housekeeping, street cleaning and particularly the enforcement by the council of existing laws and bye laws is required.
The Chamber does NOT support business owners who fail to maintain their premises in good condition or fail to comply with the law.
Empty shops do not look good and the Chamber has encouraged the Council with the strategy to improve the appearance of empty premises using vinyl 'mock ups'. The ability of business owners to claim rates relief on listed buildings and empty properties leads to neglect and the Chamber is lobbying the council to change this.
We have accumulated an excessive number of betting shops, amusement arcades and similar businesses that extract money from the family purse without contributing to the life of the town. Getting the right mix of activities in the town is key to attracting more visitors. The wishes of the community need to be taken into account more during the planning process.
The Chamber meets with senior council staff every two months to discuss improvements in Dewsbury on behalf of business members..
Recognising the need to improve communication throughout the community the Chamber amended its constitution in 2019 to allow membership by constituted community groups and continues to press the council to engage more extensively with the wider community.