I welcome KBC’s ‘expression of interest’ in bidding for the government’s new town centre funding initiative, and spoke at the Executive on behalf of the Labour opposition so they knew we were fully supportive of their plans.
Before I did however, I spoke of my excitement at hearing from this new business group. There has been a disconnect for many years between the council and the business community, and I have been very critical of the council’s role in that. I hope now that the setting up of this new group will be the catalyst for change that Kettering so desperately needs and welcome the leader of the council offering to personally meet with the group.
Regardless of whether the particular bid for funding that was being discussed is successful or not, hopefully by working on the bid together, the council and the retail sector will develop a stronger partnership that will lead to a more positive way of working that will bring untold future benefits.
For too long there has been reluctance by some to accept there was an issue with the town centre, or if they did, that anything could be done about it. Hopefully we can now move forward and actually look at ways to support our town centre.