COUNCILLORS are to debate the state of Huddersfield town centre this week.
Helping Huddersfield town centre in times of recession is on the agenda of the next meeting of the Huddersfield Area Committee on Wednesday, January 11.
And the councillors want the public to get involved in the discussions.
News of the meeting comes days after a week-long campaign by the Examiner focussing on problems facing the town centre and possible solutions.
The meeting – which has been planned for some time – will hear an update on the work currently being undertaken by Kirklees Streetscene to improve the appearance of the town centre to make it more attractive to residents, visitors and shoppers.
Clr Christine Stanfield, who chairs the Area Committee, said that progress is being made.
“We have seen vast improvements to Greenhead Park which provides a great leisure facility for all the family.
“Within the town itself, improvements are taking place, particularly in St Peter’s Gardens, which will encourage greater usage by the public as spring approaches.
“This needs to be supported by a clean and tidy and welcoming environment that will enhance the changes and create pride in the area.”
The discussion will be the main item on the agenda at the meeting which will take place at 7pm in the Reception Room at Huddersfield Town Hall.
Also on the agenda will be tips for keeping warm in winter plus items for funding from the Area Committee budget.
A council spokesman said all Huddersfield residents are welcome to attend.
Meanwhile, a man who is closely involved with organising entertainment and events in the town centre has added his voice to the call for action.
Huddersfield town crier Vic Watson said: “I love Huddersfield and for the last 14 years I have used my position as Town Crier to publicise, talk about, promote Huddersfield, through different events.
“But it’s time for others to do their bit.
“Car parking charges are far too high, there is no incentive for anyone to come into the town and have to pay £1 per hour for the privilege. Why not give a free extra half hour?
“Shops are always saying their profits are down but there is no encouragement to compete. Some complain about the One Pound shops, but if they can sell certain items at a £1 why not other shops? A lady said to me just before Christmas why should I buy crisps at £1.50 for a multi bag in a supermarket when I can get the same thing for £1 in the Pound Shops.
“The main reason empty shops and market stalls in the Queensgate Market are still empty are the high rents.
“Surely it would be an idea to offer a prospective business a year’s contract with a 50% rent reduction for the first six months to give them time to get established as it would be better to get some rent than have these shops closed up”.
He agreed with pleas to have something to attract people into the town centre, for example a cinema, and also advocated more free concerts at the Town Hall.