Fighting to keep Hitchin special

PUBLISHED: 11:55 15 June 2006 | UPDATED: 10:20 06 May 2010

Your correspondent Mrs Scupham writes of the vital work that local community groups are engaged in making every effort to help Hitchin to retain its very special features such as the ancient market. She was clearly and understandably disappointed by the v

Your correspondent Mrs Scupham writes of the vital work that local community groups are engaged in making every effort to help Hitchin to retain its very special features such as the ancient market.

She was clearly and understandably disappointed by the very general report of the Scrutiny Task and Finish Group which came to Hitchin Committee last week because it was a very general report about markets across the district. Mrs Scupham might also not have been aware of the lengthy and detailed discussion on the subject of Hitchin Market at the Hitchin Committee's meeting on April 18. This has led to the establishment of some emergency efforts to bring together the market traders representatives and council officers to urgently address a number of issues. These include the development of an action plan to ensure that every effort is made to attract new traders, deal with unsatisfactory cleaning and maintenance issues and look at rapid ways to improve the marketing and promotion of the main market and those specialist elements such as the Farmer's Market. We have also called on the council to rapidly look at the best ways for the market to be managed in the short, medium and long term for the greatest benefit of the town and its traders.

Hitchin Councillors are working with the market traders, local groups and the Hitchin Town Centre Initiative to ensure that the market has the best possible chance of swift recovery, but without considerable investment, enthusiasm and commitment from the whole council our chances are limited.

It is vital that we all continue to bring the same pressure to bear on the North Herts Council in Letchworth which holds the purse strings and can really help us to make the difference.

JUDI BILLING, Bearton Ward Councillor and Chair of Hitchin Committee

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