Burnham's new town centre manager, Anne-Marie Spalding, was formally unveiled on Wednesday evening (April 7th) and is vowing to tackle some of the town's biggest problems.
During a special meeting with over 50 business representatives from across Burnham at The Princess, Mrs Spalding laid out her key objectives for the role, saying she intends to start by tackling three key areas - the environment, security and marketing of the town with the overall aim of boosting business in the town.
Mrs Spalding is currently Bridgwater's town centre manager but will be time-sharing this role with Burnham and Highbridge by working two days every week in the town over the next two years.
On environment issues, she aims to stamp down on fly posting, introduce visual improvements such as more flowers across Burnham, and get 'problem areas' of the town cleaned up.
She also wants to boost the security of businesses in the town, encourage more sharing of security information to help companies tackle crime and also promote the safety of young and old people - particularly at night.
On marketing, she intends to get the town promoted across the country in a more positive light and also ensure that the many good things about Burnham are better publicised.
Mayor Louise Parkin welcomed the appointment of Mrs Spalding, saying that she represented "good value" for Burnham, adding that she had done "phenomenal" things in Bridgwater and that it was hoped this would be repeated in Burnham and Highbridge.
Cllr Neville Jones OBE, Burnham's Second Deputy Mayor, said: "Here's a chance for Burnham and Highbridge to get behind Anne-Marie and help her do good things for the town. We're keen to spur on our town."
He hoped that Mrs Spalding will spearhead key projects to take forward the regeneration of the town, promote Burnham further and re-introduce previously popular events, such as the town's Victorian Week, that used to attract large crowds.
Mike Murphy of the Burnham-On-Sea Chamber of Trade challenged Mrs Spalding to explain how she would revitalise Highbridge, adding that he'd like to see a museum or joint heritage centre opened up in the town.
He also proposed that Apex Leisure Park should be upgraded into a dedicated wildlife and environmental haven.
Mr Murphy also highlighted what he believes is a "lack of clear information about Burnham-On-Sea in tourist information centres."
He claims that the name 'Sedgemoor' is being promoted too heavily across the UK, rather than the name of Burnham-On-Sea, and therefore leaving potential tourists and vistors from outside the area "totally confused."
secretary of Burnham's Chamber Of Trade, also welcomed the appointment
of Mrs Spalding, adding: "Her role is to promote shopping in the
town, support the regeneration plans and to boost civic pride,"
but he warned that Burnham "needs more recognised names in the
High Street that will pull in visitors all year round - not just in
the summer months."