Time to start re-investing in our town

PUBLISHED: 13:21 07 June 2007 | UPDATED: 15:08 12 May 2010

AS a young professional couple residing in Royston for the past two years, we would like to raise a concern which is now frequently heard in the community. Royston, once a vibrant town, becomes more dismal as the months pass. In the last couple of years,

AS a young professional couple residing in Royston for the past two years, we would like to raise a concern which is now frequently heard in the community.

Royston, once a vibrant town, becomes more dismal as the months pass. In the last couple of years, we have witnessed the obvious warning signs.

- Open swimming pool closure leaving nothing behind;

- Tesco and Johnson Matthey's constant industrial expansion

- Forthcoming First Capital Connect changes to train timetables increasing the average journey time to and from London.

We imagine that despite these changes, the residents of Royston manage their day-to-day lives as they have for the last few decades.

The significant change which has affected Royston residents most recently is the collapse of the town centre.

Royston High Street is suffering. We are seeing a constant stream of shop closures (and few re-openings) along a shabby and dated High Street with more that its fair share of charity shops and exorbitant parking fees.

Nevertheless, we continue to visit the town centre every Saturday to support local businesses, but with diminishing enthusiasm.

Responsibility lies with North Herts District Council to ensure fair trading, particularly in an isolated area such as Royston.

If the council is willing to allow the likes of Tesco to open and subsequently expand, it also needs to grant some investment in the town centre in order to give residents a choice.

Answers are needed from those with power before we find ourselves living in a suburban ghost town with no character.

To offer some comments: the attraction of the town has a direct impact on the number of visitors and residents frequenting local shops and amenities, and settling in Royston.

The money spent in Royston increases; money that goes into local businesses and in Council Tax wealth; money which then can be re-invested further to improve again local businesses and local residents' needs.

Therefore this initial investment becomes part of a virtuous cycle to enhance the attractiveness of the town centre.

That is why money must be invested by the council to give Royston a better and fairer chance when compared to other North Herts town: Hitchin and Letchworth, often better looked after.

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