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Newmarket deputy mayor calls for town's residents to get together with ideas for town centre

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Newmarket’s deputy mayor has called for residents, councillors and representatives of groups and organisations to get together with ideas to rejuvenate the High Street and town centre.

Speaking at a meeting on Monday, Cllr Chris O’Neill said the High Street, and the current state of the town was the subject of constant negative comments both on social media and made to him in person.

“I find myself saying the town council can’t do anything about it but the time for saying that it over and it is time to have a discussion about what we can do about it,” he said.

Cllr O'Neill. (51804703)
Cllr O'Neill. (51804703)

And speaking after the meeting he added: “We just can’t keep making up excuses. I would like to have an extraordinary meeting of the town, sometime in November, to thrash out the issues that have been raised but I don’t want it to turn into a finger-pointing exercise. I would like to think something positive could come out of this for the good of the town.”

Cllr O’Neill said he wanted to schedule speakers from Newmarket BID, West Suffolk Council and Suffolk County Council to give presentations.

“We can see that Ely appears to be thriving so I would like to ask a representative from East Cambridgeshire council to come along so we can think about what they are doing right and what we are doing wrong,” he said.

“Parking charges are causing an issue but they are not the only problem. I just feel we need to get a debate started so people can put forward their ideas and we can stop just saying there’s nothing we can do.”

And some town residents are already doing their bit to improve the look of the town.

Lt Col Jamie Lawrence, has been waging war on weeds and clearing pavements in Rowley Drive where he lives, in St Mary’s Square, and around St Mary’s Church.

In a letter to the town council’s community and leisure services committee meeting on Monday, he has asked for members’ support in ‘rallying the troops’ and provide litter picking equipment to encourage like-minded residents to joining him in his clean-up campaign.

“There is a social and moral imperative to keep our green spaces clean and tidy and I sense there are others that would like to join me,” he said. “Newmarket as a town has slipped and is rather untidy and unkept, I would like to reverse this in some small way.”

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