Published: December 17, 2011
Mary Portas shops campaign backed by Burnham Chamber of Trade

Burnham-On-Sea's Chamber Of Trade has this week given its support to TV presenter Mary Portas' nationwide campaign to raise the profile of high streets.

Ms Portas, the star of TV show Mary Queen of Shops, outlined almost 30 proposals to give town centres across the UK a much-needed boost during the economic downturn.

Her report recommends greater inclusion of High Streets in neighbourhood planning, a cut in regulations for High Street businesses, affordable town centre parking, disincentives for landlords who leave shops empty, the creation of new 'town teams' who would be responsible for developing business, and more street markets.

Rhonda Mills, Chairman of Burnham Chamber Of Trade, told "We in Burnham already have the basics of the Portas vision. We just need more people coming into the town, taking time to find what we have, plus more people with the energy and enthusiasm to stage more events both in the town and theatre so that we can continue to build on the town's uniqueness and underlying vibrance."

"I agree with Mary Portas that the High Street is an important part of building a community. Burnham has a stronger sense of community than most towns, which is valued by a core of people but not currently quite enough to make it thrive as it deserves to do."

"Those that use the businesses in the town regularly value the variety and value of goods and high level of service. Young people enjoy the fact that they can feel safe when going around the town."

Mrs Mills added: "Burnham has not become a clone of other places but retained a unique mix. Our town still has housing, a library, adult education, a sports centre, a cinema, several art galleries, and a theatre. In addition, we have seaside style entertainment, a lot of pubs that regularly provide live music, and a huge variety of eateries for a small town. There is also a lot of local produce and products, particularly arts-based, available."


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