Fitzy Strikes Back!
As I have pointed out before, Northampton Borough Council's so-called 'Consultation' process for changes to our Town Centre, and particularly our Market Square, is deeply flawed. About a thousand people were involved in this 'Consultation'. That is rather less than 0.5% of the population of Northampton, which is over 230,000; so NBC 'Consulted' less than half of one percent of all the people who live in Northampton, the biggest Town in England!
In the light of this revelation, which NBC would rather prefer you not to know about, what kind of mandate does this tiny minority give the council to change our Market Square? To any reasonable person, the answer is none. None at all. Not nearly enough people have been consulted or have given their views. As there were several Marketplace plans on the website, only a few hundred people out of this thousand could have voted for each plan, so this lessens even further the amount of people who actually voted for the changes so triumphantly trumpeted by NBC!
Most people who live in Northampton know that every change that NBC have made to the Market Square over the last 20 years, has seen a decline in trade. Less traders and less shoppers. To move the traders further down the Square towards the bottom, as planned, would probably finally kill us off. It should be fairly obvious even to the meanest of intelligences that the top of the Square is where the trade is, as people pass by on their way to and from the Grosvenor Centre and the Bus Station.
They (NBC) have put in for a government grant of £25 Million to implement these plans, apparently. At the present time, with this coronavirus epedemic being rather more on the government's mind than Northampton Marketplace, I have great hopes that the grant will be refused, or that the council will get very little of it. In fact, I intend to write to the government, and probably even Boris Johnson himself, and ask them to refuse it. Fitzy strikes back!