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Town Centre Manager Position Under Threat

The recruitment of a town centre manager for Stratford has gone on hold, while local councils argue over who should fund the position.

The job was advertised and the deadline for applications had passed - interviews were set to get underway, when a change in control at the council led to a rethink.

The new Tory administration is set to use its majority, and say the project should be funded more locally.

Drawing predominantly on support in the rural seats, the Tory group feels that a £10,000 donation cannot be justified for Stratford town, if there is nothing similar for other towns in the district like Southam, Shipston and Alcester.

The financial offer from Stratford Distrct Council has been effectively withdrawn, but still has to be finally agreed by the full council, but politcal opponents are calling for a rethink.

Most Warwickshire towns have managers – Rugby Borough Council employs one, and Warwick District has two for Kenilworth, Leamington and Warwick.

Nick Madeley, Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce director, said: 

“We are devastated with the bombshell that has been dropped by the Conservative-led Stratford District Council who are no longer contributing to the immediate need for a town centre manager in Stratford.

“Despite the huge effort made by the Chamber, in securing £45,000 worth of sponsorship from over 70 private-sector companies, including Marks and Spencers, Boots and the RSC, the post will now remain empty for the near future.

”We were under the impression that Conservative policy supported the economic development of business in key area such as Stratford, so this comes as a shock.

“The decision has both dismayed and disgusted not only ourselves but traders in the town who have offered nothing but praise and support towards this initiative.”

The project could still go ahead if traders or the town council put in more money, but parties are waiting for a final decision from the district council.

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