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From the Mayor’s Parlour – By Cllr Richard Plowman

THE CHICHESTER pedestrian precinct and pavement are in a poor state now with almost daily falls and trips.

 

Luckily, most don’t end in serious injury but any fall is very worrying for the elderly. Several people have stopped coming to Chichester and no doubt contributed to the decline of the high street. As Mayor, I have little power other than to persuade and influence the responsible local authorities to do something.

 

I am pleased to say at long last the pavements in Chichester have been made a priority by the Chichester Vision group and officers tasked to action new pavements, not just patch things up.

 

I am pressing for a timescale but one of the frustrations for us all is how long this takes and the pavements have been in need of renewing for many years now.

 

The officers will do their best but are hampered by the systems and the way central government has constantly reduced the funding to a point where councils are struggling to deliver the statutory services such as child care, education, social services and housing.  Austerity has its consequences but where there is a will, there is a way to get things done.   

 

Chichester City Council has now approved the preparation of a Neighbourhood Plan which will cover all five Chichester city wards and address many of the issues such as climate change and revitalisation of the city centre.

 

There is no doubt Chichester as a city will continue to thrive as it has done for 2,000 years since Roman times as Noviomagus Reginorum. No doubt even in those days the people were complaining the city was not what it used to be!

 

Chichester is a great historic city and people will always come together and socialise here. They will also still want the experience of shopping.

 

It has actually been scientifically proven that shopping is actually good for you.

 

Five reasons were given:

  • Provides good exercise. The average shopping trip is 2.77 miles and over 4,059 steps which is nearly half the daily target. The heavier the shopping bag is, the better it is.
  • Provides social bonding, especially if you shop with family  and friends
  • Boosts your mood
  • Reduces stress
  • Boosts mental quickness

Boosts mental quickness

There is still a great array of shops in Chichester with a very high proportion of good independents. I launched Super Saturday, a great initiative from BID for some great summer shopping and activities. The city, with its magnificent flower display and flags in the sunshine, looked ready for business.

The eastern part of the city at east gate square, the Hornet and Drapers yard are now favourite destinations so rediscover Chichester as they say, love local and shop local.

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