New vision for Wandsworth's town centres
Published: Tuesday 25th June 13
The council is funding a major project to breathe new life into its town centres.
It will work with the local business community to come up with a new vision to help town centres thrive, and wants the input of local people.
It has engaged a specialist consultancy to assess the health of each of the five borough town centres - Putney, Wandsworth, Clapham Junction, Balham and Tooting.
It will then take on board the views of residents, property owners, businesses, investors, community groups and others via an online survey to draw up a shared vision, identity and strategy for each town centre.
The project is expected to continue through the summer with a final report due in September.
The council has a long-standing commitment to its town centres, which lie at the heart of life in Wandsworth. This includes individual Town Centre Partnerships, made up of local businesses, council representatives, and other groups supported by a town centre manager. They work to plan and co-ordinate strategies to ensure the long-term success of towns, influence policy, support businesses and hold events.
The council offers an extensive package of support to local businesses and ongoing investment has seen improvements in all five town centres.
In Wandsworth a significant amount of inward investment has been attracted, with a £40m redevelopment scheme currently being carried out at Southside.
Putney has been named a Town Team Partner, which will attract a package of support, including a government grant and is getting road and pavement improvements and a station upgrade. The Putney Exchange is also being enlarged and improved.
Clapham Junction has had extensive road and pavement improvements, including a new diagonal crossing, to make it more attractive to pedestrians, and a half price parking scheme is being piloted in Tooting
Wandsworth Council and The Balham Partnership secured £1.9million from the Mayor of London's Outer London Fund programme and match funding to improve and promote the town centre.
The council's business spokesman, Cllr James Cousins, said:
"The UK's town centres are facing unprecedented challenges: an increasingly competitive business environment and changing shopping habits mean their future likely lies with a model that is quite different from what exists today.
"Our town centres are important places to shop and do business, but they also have a crucial role as defining and acting as centres of their local community. Ensuring the balance of both will be critical to their future.
"We commissioned the survey and visioning exercise to better understand how the five borough town centres can be positioned to thrive and to do that we want to hear from everyone who lives, works, relaxes or has any other interest in keeping our town centres healthy and vibrant. We want this to be a shared vision."
To take part in the survey visit http://www.wandsworthtowncentres.co.uk/. Click on the survey for whichever town centre you have an interest in. You may take the survey for more than one town centre if you wish. Comments can also be posted on that site.
The survey is also accessible via the TiCL app. Download it to your smartphone from the app store, or visit http://www.ticl.me/.