|BEAUTIFUL BRIGG: The Old River Ancholme and Cadney Road's impressive line-up of mature trees on a summer's day.|
By Coun The Rev Alec W. Depledge - Brigg Town Council representative at the 2020 Vision Group
The 2020 Vision Group formed in 2012 to oversee delivery of Brigg’s Community-led Plan (CLP) is a partnership of North Lincolnshire Ward Councillors, Brigg Town Councillors and the Brigg Town Business Partnership, under the chairmanship of our constituency MP.
We’re pleased to report that the first phase of the Action Plan has ended, and, with many issues still under consideration, we can celebrate the following successes so far.
Information Technology – the Town Council now has a modern, fit-for purpose website http://www.briggmarkettown.co.uk carrying loads of information, including a comprehensive list of organizations, and halls available for hire (requested by the CLP)
A Wi-fi Cloud has been instigated, covering the town centre, and accessible free of charge.
Community Events – the town continues to enjoy well-planned events, involving community groups working together – e.g. the Diamond Jubilee celebrations; the series of events commemorating the start of WW1; and Briggstock - (to name a few). The Pump Blessing ceremony was re-introduced as an annual event (called for specifically in the CLP)
Brigg Christmas Fair in 2014 saw the unveiling of new Christmas lights, the first phase of a major investment by the Town Council.
Events like these draw people together, giving a stronger sense of community cohesion, as envisioned. We’re grateful for each organization and individual contributing to them.
The River & Riverside – formation of the River Ancholme Trust; improvements to the County Bridge and Cadney Road Bridge; developments along the River Wall; and contracts to ensure regular cleaning of the Ancholme were implemented.
Work recently commenced on a phased construction of a foot/cycle path from Brigg along the river to South Ferriby. Additionally, events involving the River were held (e.g. the River Festival, and hosting of the World Quadrathlon Championships in 2014)
Town Centre Appearance – audits on the town centre were undertaken, with several visible improvements
- installation of new railings in Cary Lane
- refurbishment of Cary Lane’s public toilets
- new street furnishings in the Market Square – benches and bins
- proposals to refurbish the public toilets near the War Memorial
The battle against litter continues high on the agenda, with the Brigg Spring Clean now an annual event, involving uniformed youth groups from the Town, and with further proposals for an anti-litter ‘campaign’ as we promote pride in our town’s appearance.
Traffic Management – many comments during the 2011 consultation concerned the flow of traffic through Town, and one response was the decision by North Lincolnshire Council to invest in the very latest traffic light technology (the MOVA system) which is installed, and will be fully operational imminently.
With well-advanced proposals for a re-build of the Vale Academy there are plans afoot to construct a relief road, which will, it is believed, take pressure off the seriously over-whelmed Grammar School Road.
Further proposals for improvements, and tools to manage road infrastructure in line with new housing/commercial developments, along with other issues raised in the CLP, are to be incorporated into the Neighbourhood Plan.
Crime Prevention – the CLP called for a review of the town centre’s CCTV coverage, which was duly completed, leading to an overhaul of the existing system, installation of the latest technology, and addition of extra multi-directional cameras.
Parks & Green Spaces – are regularly reviewed, and plans are in place for a makeover of Almond Grove Play Area (fondly known as the Donkey Park), in addition to well-publicized plans for a major upgrade of Brigg Recreation Ground. Proposals to include these areas, and other green spaces, as part of the Neighbourhood Plan will hopefully secure their future.
Job Creation – two recruitment fairs were held in town during 2013 and 2014 (the second attracting up to 1000 visitors) linking employers with job-seekers, and including workshops on job interviews, and help with writing CVs. A further event is planned for March 2015 - hopefully this also will become an annual event.
Public Transport – discussions were held with relevant parties concerned with the future of the rail service to Brigg, not least the Friends of the Brigg and Lincoln Line, who are working extremely hard to get the passenger rail service through Brigg improved. The 2020 Vision Group entirely supports these efforts, aware from public opinion, that promotion of the existing service, along with upgrades to both the station and its approaches are a genuine community aspiration. We have received assurances that the footbridge over the railway track will be replaced (not refurbished) in 2015, although some intensive lobbying is still necessary to persuade Network Rail to incorporate a ramp enabling access for those who are less mobile.
Neighbourhood Plan – in 2013 Brigg Town Council decided to formulate a Neighbourhood Plan, as part of its commitment to delivering the CLP (which anticipated such a document). Consultation work was carried out during the summer of 2014, and proposals are to be drafted for a further round of consultation, before putting the completed Plan to a vote of the town’s electorate. Once ‘adopted’ the Neighbourhood Plan will be enshrined in planning law, regulating decisions of the local authorities.
Of course, there is much still to be done, and a long way to go, but we are encouraged to share some good things emerging from the Community-led Plan, and in a relatively short time-frame. Now, looking forward to the mid-phase of the Action Plan (2015-2017) we anticipate reporting further progress in coming years.