New strategy is the ‘beginning of the future’ for Southwold
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Community groups from a coastal town have heralded the 'beginning of the future' following a presentation of the town council's strategy.
Two recent meetings held by Southwold town mayor, Melanie Tucker, set out the council's intention to focus on projects which will differentiate Southwold from other coastal locations with a similar profile.
Ms Tucker explained: 'The strategy aims to create for tomorrow rather than depending on the past.
'While our traditions will remain important to us, as can be seen in the recent Civic Parade and Charter Fair; we must also move forwards if Southwold is to be the successful, vibrant town on the East Anglian coast, where people want to live, work and visit.'
Key aims of the strategy, presented at the meetings held on June 1 and 6, were to develop a diversified economy – no longer predominantly reliant on tourism and to encourage more families to live in Southwold and the surrounding area.
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'This was a very positive meeting showing the town council has really taken on what people have been saying. The town strategy is the beginning of the future of Southwold,' said Laurence Vulliamy, 64, chairman of the Save Our Southwold (Hospital) campaign.
Although questions from those in attendance demonstrated concerns regarding parking and how this would be better directed and restrictions more effectively enforced.
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Ms Tucker responded by explaining the introduction of match funded PCSO, Jamie Newson, is hoped to improve the enforcement of parking restrictions.
And plans are in place to discuss further parking options with Southwold Millennium Foundation, Suffolk County Council and Waveney District Council; in order to optimise accessibility to the town.
She added: 'We do not guarantee that we will be able to achieve every aspect of our vision, but it is important to us, and for our community, to have a clear vision about where we want to be.
'Residents and businesses seem to be pleased we are giving a lead about the future of the town and that they have been made aware of some of the tactics we plan to employ, as I think they like to see a proactive council, who are taking steps to try and secure a strong future for the town.'
Further meetings will take place over the oncoming weeks and a public meeting is to be held in the town hall at 1pm on Monday (June 20).
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