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High Wycombe town centre in "dire need of serious nurturing"
HIGH Wycombe town centre is in “dire need of some serious nurturing and care”, the district's Liberal Democrat leader says, as he attacked council chiefs' investment priorities.
Cllr Trevor Snaith believes a pot of money gained from developers has been divided up poorly, with the most needy areas not getting the right proportion.
Wycombe District Council's Cabinet has rubber stamped a raft of projects totalling £1.85m and has pledged £19,000 to the town centre, including Frogmoor, to improve public art, street furniture, de-cluttering and greenery.
However, this is not until 2014/15. Another £49,000 has been put aside as a contribution to open space upgrades at Frogmoor between 2014 and 2016.
Cllr Snaith thinks the sums are not enough, particularly in comparison to cash provided for other schemes.
A new crossing for Abbey Way has been given £220,000.
Councillor Trevor Snaith told a public meeting last week: "There's been a considerable weight from councillors and public opinion saying this is not something we really want.
“You've got over £200,000 going in there but barely any going somewhere that really needs it, like Frogmoor and the town centre. The town centre is in dire need of some serious nurturing and care.
“Perhaps the figures the wrong way round and it should read £19k for Abbey Way and £220k for Frogmoor?”
Councillor Hugh McCarthy, Conservative, Cabinet Member for Planning, said: "Frogmoor is tricky one. I know we'd all have loved to have the fountain back but we haven't frankly cracked Frogmoor yet and there's no point spending money if you don't spend it properly.
“That's happened in the past and we don't want to repeat those mistakes.
“We have a working party that is gearing itself up rapidly and we have an internal consultant who is giving some good advice, along with recent work on the town centre that will hopefully transform Frogmoor.”
The town centre, in general, is set to benefit from other projects paid for with the £1.85m pot, including pedestrian and cycle improvements around St Mary's Street, costing £220,000.
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