Victor Jamieson from the Wincton City Centre Initiative has rounded upon the City Council in the wake of its announcement of the Brewery Development Initiative (BDI). He last night described the council as “A bunch of complacent hypocrites, regardless of their political leanings.”
Mr Jamieson has for many years represented city centre traders and has worked tirelessly over the past year to implement the some of the suggestions made within the Portas Review. “The problem with this city does not lie with the traders” he stated, “it is down to the inability of the council to look beyond their political affiliations and work on behalf of the people who voted them into power in the first place. They’re constantly arguing across party lines and the only people who suffer are those who actually make a contribution to our city’s economy – the traders.”
The Portas Review suggested that more should be done to create city and town centres that are social as well as retail hubs. It was suggested at the time that this would require innovative responses to some of the threats that retailers are experiencing such as online competition and high business rates.
Mr. Jamieson argues that Wincton City Council are not doing enough to respond to these challenges. “What they don’t get is that the city’s traders are on their knees and a thing such as the BDI could be the last nail in the coffin. They are hammered by a dated business rates system and not enough is invested in drawing people into the city centre. You’ve just got to take a look at the ammenities offered to visitors. Inadequate tourist information, expensive and inadequate parking and poorly maintained streets. It’s a liberty!”
The City Council has for the last several years has seen no overall control. The council currently consists of seven Conservative councillors, six Labour Councillors, two Green Councillors and two Independents. The sole Liberal Democrat councillor lost her seat shortly after the 2012 General Election.
Mr. Jamieson has recently launched the “Keep Winton Real” campaign to draw attention to the views of local traders and concerned residents. He hopes that the campaign will add pressure to the growing number of concerned Wincton residents who recently contributed to the public consultation event concerning the British Investment PLC development. Wincton City Council are due to report the results of the public consultation in the near future.