Council budget to include £1m fund to help St Helens town centre

St Helens Star: Council budget to include £1m fund to help St Helens town centre Council budget to include £1m fund to help St Helens town centre

A £1 MILLION business fund is being set aside to boost shopping in the town centre, St Helens Council’s budget plans for the forthcoming year have revealed.

Councillors are due to meet at the town hall last night over the 2014/15 budget in the face on continuing government cuts.

They are expected to vote through a council tax increase of 1.99 per cent.

The council says that by 2015 they will have seen a £65 million cut in government grants since 2010.

It has shed 1,400 jobs and faces more losses with the closure of the Red Bank secure children’s unit.

Council leader Barrie Grunewald pledged to protect services for the most vulnerable but admitted it will be an “uphill struggle”, with many tough decisions ahead.

Grunewald said: “The government has stretched essential council services to breaking point.

“But I can assure people that we will do our best to protect people from the government’s disgraceful attack on local government.”

However, in an effort to boost the town centre business there will be a significant cash hike.

He added: “I am intending to commit an additional £1 million to the business development fund to specifically support the development of retail activity and will look to our commercial partners to advise how best this funding can be used.”

He also cited the £6 million committed to the Parkside development and the £1 million to provide affordable mortgages to first time homebuyers as evidence of commitment to its communities.

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6:44pm Wed 5 Mar 14

keepitreel says...

could king Barry tell us how many of the jobs shed were non jobs created by the LABOUR government at a vast burden on the tax payer and then to the council tax payer when they paid the severance pay,it seems we have a few quid stuffed down the sette because spending £1m on the town centre buying back St Thomas sq at a vastly increased price than we got for it we must have found a stash from somewhere or have we been spoon fed a load of tripe for years,the council HAS money so spend it on the people and forget hair brained schemes that will come to nothing.
could king Barry tell us how many of the jobs shed were non jobs created by the LABOUR government at a vast burden on the tax payer and then to the council tax payer when they paid the severance pay,it seems we have a few quid stuffed down the sette because spending £1m on the town centre buying back St Thomas sq at a vastly increased price than we got for it we must have found a stash from somewhere or have we been spoon fed a load of tripe for years,the council HAS money so spend it on the people and forget hair brained schemes that will come to nothing. keepitreel
  • Score: 7

8:58pm Wed 5 Mar 14

Sankey says...

Grunewald is starving mainstream services for the people of St. Helens and seemingly splashing millions on very high risk schemes with the aim to promote himself and his political pledges which he is using as long term lever for his next career move probably as MP.

And to add insult to injury raising council tax to pay for it,

But he knows everyone will vote labour anyway and he is right which is precisely how we end up with a situation like this.
Grunewald is starving mainstream services for the people of St. Helens and seemingly splashing millions on very high risk schemes with the aim to promote himself and his political pledges which he is using as long term lever for his next career move probably as MP. And to add insult to injury raising council tax to pay for it, But he knows everyone will vote labour anyway and he is right which is precisely how we end up with a situation like this. Sankey
  • Score: 6

10:29pm Wed 5 Mar 14

anthonywilson says...

It is a case of damned if they do and damned if they don't.
Councils across the country are having to make very difficult decisions about future spending and service delivery. At the moment the town centre needs a lot of investment and new ideas and if St Helens Council was not putting money into it they would be criticised for it. If the money does help to attract other investment then it can only be a good thing.
The sad reality is though that previous poor management decisions concerning St Helens as a whole are part of the problem and the legacy of the 'pound town' shopping offer is the result of the combination of the wider economic deindustrialisation since the 1970's and the failure to attract new businesses and new ideas unlike neighbouring towns such as Warrington.
It is a case of damned if they do and damned if they don't. Councils across the country are having to make very difficult decisions about future spending and service delivery. At the moment the town centre needs a lot of investment and new ideas and if St Helens Council was not putting money into it they would be criticised for it. If the money does help to attract other investment then it can only be a good thing. The sad reality is though that previous poor management decisions concerning St Helens as a whole are part of the problem and the legacy of the 'pound town' shopping offer is the result of the combination of the wider economic deindustrialisation since the 1970's and the failure to attract new businesses and new ideas unlike neighbouring towns such as Warrington. anthonywilson
  • Score: 7

11:36pm Wed 5 Mar 14

smith&weston says...

It's had investment. It's has countless revamps over the last 20 years, Flags up, cobbles down, cobbles up flags down. I'll say it again. 4 years of the wasps on scooters ( our private company parking enforcement team ) has given shoppers the perfect reason to avoid coming near the place. Their fines are totally disproportionate to the offences committed and serve only to alienate shoppers who make honest, simple mistakes in getting back to their pay and display spot a few minutes late.
It's had investment. It's has countless revamps over the last 20 years, Flags up, cobbles down, cobbles up flags down. I'll say it again. 4 years of the wasps on scooters ( our private company parking enforcement team ) has given shoppers the perfect reason to avoid coming near the place. Their fines are totally disproportionate to the offences committed and serve only to alienate shoppers who make honest, simple mistakes in getting back to their pay and display spot a few minutes late. smith&weston
  • Score: 5

1:28pm Thu 6 Mar 14

epson says...

You used to be able to park free for two hours all around town and these spaces were always hard to get. Why? Because these spaces were ideal to do a bit of shopping or go for a bite to eat. Now, the very same spaces are covered with double yellow lines or pay and display bays and they are very rarely filled.
They are very rarely filled because the same shoppers have nipped to Widnes for their items.
I always thought that double yellow lines were there because it was hazardous to park there, not to force people to use pay and display or the multi storey.
You used to be able to park free for two hours all around town and these spaces were always hard to get. Why? Because these spaces were ideal to do a bit of shopping or go for a bite to eat. Now, the very same spaces are covered with double yellow lines or pay and display bays and they are very rarely filled. They are very rarely filled because the same shoppers have nipped to Widnes for their items. I always thought that double yellow lines were there because it was hazardous to park there, not to force people to use pay and display or the multi storey. epson
  • Score: 6

1:49pm Thu 6 Mar 14

jumperr says...

The distribution of money by these right wing govt is nothing short of criminal regardless of the bashes of a council that dosn't follow its own rules
The distribution of money by these right wing govt is nothing short of criminal regardless of the bashes of a council that dosn't follow its own rules jumperr
  • Score: -2

7:48pm Thu 6 Mar 14

Sankey says...

The reason St. Helens town centre is as it is, is because of the changes in retail trends which are affecting all town centres including Warrington and Wigan a million pound is a drop in the ocean and won't change a thing you might as well burn the money.

It's more political posturing to support cosmetic pledges before the elections
The reason St. Helens town centre is as it is, is because of the changes in retail trends which are affecting all town centres including Warrington and Wigan a million pound is a drop in the ocean and won't change a thing you might as well burn the money. It's more political posturing to support cosmetic pledges before the elections Sankey
  • Score: 0

10:25pm Thu 6 Mar 14

anthonywilson says...

smith&weston wrote:
It's had investment. It's has countless revamps over the last 20 years, Flags up, cobbles down, cobbles up flags down. I'll say it again. 4 years of the wasps on scooters ( our private company parking enforcement team ) has given shoppers the perfect reason to avoid coming near the place. Their fines are totally disproportionate to the offences committed and serve only to alienate shoppers who make honest, simple mistakes in getting back to their pay and display spot a few minutes late.
The street scape has had investment yes and its been done very badly. The shopping centre has had almost nil investment since the 1970's .
The Hardshaw Centre for example opened in the early 1980's. What's been built since in the town centre except for retail parks on the edge?
The town centre needs complete modernisation with the whole of the shopping area including the arcades between Bridge Street to the bottom of the market needing demolition and rebuilding with a new modern facility. Free parking wouldtalso help too.
[quote][p][bold]smith&weston[/bold] wrote: It's had investment. It's has countless revamps over the last 20 years, Flags up, cobbles down, cobbles up flags down. I'll say it again. 4 years of the wasps on scooters ( our private company parking enforcement team ) has given shoppers the perfect reason to avoid coming near the place. Their fines are totally disproportionate to the offences committed and serve only to alienate shoppers who make honest, simple mistakes in getting back to their pay and display spot a few minutes late.[/p][/quote]The street scape has had investment yes and its been done very badly. The shopping centre has had almost nil investment since the 1970's . The Hardshaw Centre for example opened in the early 1980's. What's been built since in the town centre except for retail parks on the edge? The town centre needs complete modernisation with the whole of the shopping area including the arcades between Bridge Street to the bottom of the market needing demolition and rebuilding with a new modern facility. Free parking wouldtalso help too. anthonywilson
  • Score: 4

11:23pm Fri 7 Mar 14

frankly says...

yes I agree, the present precincts are past it, and need rebuilding..problems
, when or if it happens then shoppers will have gone to other areas and stayed there, re shopping.. this town IS dead and is never going to revive.. knock it all down, and put regular buses on to the retail parks we have, then you will see shoppers shopping.... you don't see pound shops/pound bakeries or deadbeats on the retail parks, they are not needed. Go into town most days and see the age groups that go now, then do the same at the retail parks..They shop there, they don't sit around all day like zombies.
yes I agree, the present precincts are past it, and need rebuilding..problems , when or if it happens then shoppers will have gone to other areas and stayed there, re shopping.. this town IS dead and is never going to revive.. knock it all down, and put regular buses on to the retail parks we have, then you will see shoppers shopping.... you don't see pound shops/pound bakeries or deadbeats on the retail parks, they are not needed. Go into town most days and see the age groups that go now, then do the same at the retail parks..They shop there, they don't sit around all day like zombies. frankly
  • Score: 5

8:55am Sat 8 Mar 14

barrie timpson says...

I think part of the problem is town is so small, so as you walk down Church st 7 units being closed looks awful. Now Liverpool and Warrington probably have more empty units (I'm just guessing) but because they are bigger it seems more spread out.

Something must be done though, it's awful. Every time I go into town it seems worse.
I think part of the problem is town is so small, so as you walk down Church st 7 units being closed looks awful. Now Liverpool and Warrington probably have more empty units (I'm just guessing) but because they are bigger it seems more spread out. Something must be done though, it's awful. Every time I go into town it seems worse. barrie timpson
  • Score: 2

11:35am Sat 8 Mar 14

Sankey says...

What can be done ? They could be throwing good money after bad.
What can be done ? They could be throwing good money after bad. Sankey
  • Score: -1

2:04pm Sun 9 Mar 14

Les Teeling says...

As i have reported on this page before the Council is holding £90 million in usable reserves however when i attended the Council budget meeting on Wed i asked the Leader why they where making 25 million pounds worth of cuts when they had this in reserve the answer i got was one which i expected but which i wanted confirmation The simple fact is that over a considerable time the Council have been in a protracted legal battle with their Cleaning staff over equal pay they have at huge expense to every tax payer been to Court on Four occasions and lost however they have once again appealed this decision and at more cost await the outcome Now then i ask myself where does this position stand in relation to National Labour Party policy where equal pay is surely a RIGHT given that we now have ALL Women shortlist or maybe what they say in Westminister does not carry favour at local level forgot to mention our leader says of the 90mill 70 as been set at one side for any possible wage settlement
As i have reported on this page before the Council is holding £90 million in usable reserves however when i attended the Council budget meeting on Wed i asked the Leader why they where making 25 million pounds worth of cuts when they had this in reserve the answer i got was one which i expected but which i wanted confirmation The simple fact is that over a considerable time the Council have been in a protracted legal battle with their Cleaning staff over equal pay they have at huge expense to every tax payer been to Court on Four occasions and lost however they have once again appealed this decision and at more cost await the outcome Now then i ask myself where does this position stand in relation to National Labour Party policy where equal pay is surely a RIGHT given that we now have ALL Women shortlist or maybe what they say in Westminister does not carry favour at local level forgot to mention our leader says of the 90mill 70 as been set at one side for any possible wage settlement Les Teeling
  • Score: 0

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