Burton’s MP Kate Griffiths has spoken out, following concerns that the town’s £23.8m regeneration cash might be lost. Following a vote of East Staffordshire Borough Council earlier this week, Councillors decided not to progress submission of the Towns Fund programme at this time.
Commenting on the decision, Kate said:
“I know Monday’s decision was not an easy one for Councillors to take, but they listened to what residents in Burton had been saying and decided on balance that further reflection on the proposals was needed. I have been clear from the start that residents’ concerns need to be heard, and the Town Deal Board has worked hard over the past two years to try to answer these concerns and look to incorporate suggestions within the Town Deal Programme.
“Throughout the process, I have remained in touch with Government Ministers and officials to ensure they are aware of the progress being made, and where further support might be required. The Government’s vision for the funding is to bring together local communities and ensure opportunities are available for ongoing engagement. Communities that feel heard are invested in the project's success, and their sense of pride and identity in their town can be a valuable resource for change.
“When I raised Burton’s Town Deal Bid in the Chamber with the Secretary of State, his response was “Nothing would give me greater pleasure than to support the towns in her constituency”, and that commitment remains. The Government is not looking for ways to take back their once-in-a-lifetime offer of investment in Burton, and I know the Town Deal Board will work hard to ensure Burton keeps the funding allocated.
“Constituents’ concerns have been heard, and their local councillors are working hard to reflect on the proposals in place and see what changes can be presented to ensure we have a Town Plan that everyone can be proud of. I look forward to working with my local Conservative colleagues, and the Town Deal Board, to secure this investment and continue to champion the town’s future prosperity.”