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Council "delivering" on town vision says project's mastermind
A BMX track for youngsters is one of the aspirations under the town council’s ongoing ‘Vision’ for Marlow, as the mastermind behind the ten-year project says it is delivering real results for residents.
In 2012, former Mayor Jocelyn Towns helped launch the ten-point aspiration plan to improve life in Marlow for residents and attract more visitors to the town.
Successes include introducing hanging baskets in the High Street, a drive to reduce plastic bag usage in the town centre, widespread tree planting, revamped Christmas lights and a new community bus route.
And while Cllr Towns says council members and volunteers are doing a great job, she insists there is much more to be done. She said: "I think we are doing a great job, we should all pat ourselves on the back.
We have gone out there saying ‘this is what we’re going to do’ and we have delivered and keep on delivering.
"It’s what people told us they wanted. What is in the document today can change if people want something different from it so we are engaging with residents where we can to get their input.
"The thing that has been most noticeable for people was getting hanging baskets in the High Street in 2012. We had them in for the Olympics and it just made such a visual impact, in much the same way as the Christmas lights.
"It makes Marlow feel like a vibrant town and a place people want to visit.
"It is a ten-year vision and we want future councillors to stick with it and understand that is what we all want. But there is an awful lot we still want to do."
Plans for a community orchard, improved cycling facilities and a community crackdown on speeding motorists all in the pipeline for the next 12 months.
Creating a business tsar to further enhance the cafe culture and keep visitors flocking in and spending money in Marlow is also on the cards.
And long term visions include working with county and district councils on a full revamp of parking and helping to turn the mooted multi-million pound flood alleviation scheme into a reality.
The progress has been made possible by attracting sponsorship from companies to carry out the improvements, including support from the Shanly Group towards the Christmas lights.
A gold, silver and bronze sponsorship and donation package has been set up to encourage businesses and individuals to get involved in realising the vision.
Cllr Towns said: ""We wanted to do more than just the standard stuff councils do and deliver more value without it costing anyone any more money, so if there’s something that needs investment we will go out looking for businesses to help.
"Everything we have done on the vision is without raising the council tax and instead we have done it through increased sponsorship.
"We have to get people involved to help us. If there is anything out there that people are passionate about then get in touch and we’ll try and make it happen.
"For instance a BMX track would be a great thing to provide for the kids but it is not going to happen overnight. But sponsorship and volunteering have been great and community spirit here is tremendous."
More information on the Vision is available on MTC’s website www.marlowtowncouncil.org.uk
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