most famous town could soon lose its identity unless more is done to preserve the
reputation it has gained, according to a top council official.
Stratford-upon-Avon has long been a draw for people from all over the country who are
greeted with signs welcoming them to "Shakespeare's County" when they reach
But Stratford's district council director of planning has warned that the town is
heading for "mediocrity" due to complacency and lack of reinvestment.
Addressing a meeting of the Stratford Society Sean O' Grady said that the local council
and residents alike must take action to preserve the status of the historical town.
"Unless something dramatic happens by way of reinvestment in the RSC's premises, I
do not believe I would be exaggerating to suggest that in 20 years time, the RSC will no
longer be a major presence in the town, and may not exist at all."
Mr O'Grady outlined the need to not only preserve the status of the theatres which he
described as "outworn and unsatisfactory", but also their surroundings.
Although Stratford has made some minor changes over recent years the council official
believes that they have been very uncoordinated.
"We have had a series of small, but significant changes which do not to me add up
to coherence. Lack of town centre management has resulted in ad hoc changes which have let
the town decline towards mediocrity"
Mr O'Grady also highlighted the Stratford's traffic problems and described walking
around town as a "nightmare", urging motorists to leave their cars at home and
use park and ride facilities.
Possible remedies to Stratford's problems were also outlined in the speech and included
new pedestrian routes, road widening and one-way systems, and routes restricted to public