Firstly, I hope you enjoyed your Christmas break and I wish you the very best for the year ahead.
As I stated last month there have been calls to increase support for Helston Town Centre. It is right that I do all I can to support Helston to be a vibrant and busy town. There is no question that more can be done to attract visitors to support our local businesses and also support the local community by providing a range of amenities and shops. This is not to criticise or undermine various efforts that have been made. The rise of shopping online, pressures on public finances and the evolution of Cornwall Unitary Authority in place of the local Kerrier District Council has changed the landscape and much of the concern raised in recent months simply brings attention to the challenges faced by rural towns largely as a result of these changes. To this end, with the support of Mayor, Cllr Gillian Geer, I will be hosting a series of events designed to give an opportunity for anyone including residents, business owners, church and charity groups to bring forward concerns, ideas and raise planned developments. This information will be used to inform community leaders, decision makers and funders regarding the priorities and aspirations of everyone concerned. If we consider 800 years of history and historic buildings; a compact shopping area, reasonable plentiful parking on street and in carparks nearby, an interesting main street, a good museum, a central and busy town hall, burgeoning arts centre and some major arts events and concerts plus a considerable area of some 42,000 people – nearly doubled in the summer season, then there is every reason to believe we can seize this opportunity and build, once again, a vibrant and busy town.
I’m grateful to Helston Central Methodist Church, Helly’s Tea Room and Mustard Seed for hosting these events which include several drop-in events, a public meeting on March 9th and the opportunity to provide written contributions. Full details are available at derekthomas.org or contact me firstname.lastname@example.org 01736 363038. Please take this opportunity to make your views heard.