New mayor of Daventry calls for public to have a say on sprucing up ‘tired and scruffy’ town centre

Wendy Randall at her civic service
Wendy Randall at her civic service

Daventry’s new mayor Wendy Randall has called for the public to be consulted on how best to spend money to spruce up the town’s “tired and scruffy” centre.

Nearly £280,000 has been earmarked by Daventry District Council for “enhancements” to the town centre.

The cash, known as Section 106 funding, has been contributed by developers to fund community and social infrastructure projects.

Cllr Randall, elected mayor last month, said: “The town centre is looking very tired and scruffy and it deserves better.

“The public should have a say in how the money from recent developer contributions can be used to give the town what it deserves.

“I want a proper public consultation, not just a tick box exercise. We should go out and talk to people and ask them for their views.”

Cllr Randall, leader of the Labour opposition on the district council, first voiced her concerns over the town centre’s appearance at the civic service held on Saturday by Daventry Town Council to mark her new term of office.

She also raised the issue at Tuesday’s meeting of the town council and said she would be seeking a meeting with the chief executive and the leader of the district council to discuss the idea of a public consultation.

The mayor has further revealed that, at a meeting of the district council’s strategy group last November, it was discussed using Section 106 money to pay for a new water fountain in the town centre.

“There is no way I would agree to have this money spent on a fountain,” Cllr Randall added. “I think the one they built in Northampton has been a disaster.

“There is no doubt that the centre of Daventry needs to be spruced up. The paintwork on the bollards needs repainting and the street furniture needs some TLC.

“New rubbish bins would be nice as there is quite a litter problem in Daventry.

“But I think what we spend the money on should be decided by the people of Daventry.

”We should put people first and make sure the money is used to benefit everybody and not just the few.”

This year the district council will be introducing the Community Infrastructure Levy, a new charge authorities can make on developments.