Thursday, June 28, 2007

A letter to Centros Miller

For those who live further afield and don't know what is happening in Bury St Edmunds, I suggest that you take a look at the latest Arc post on Ruby's Living in Bury St Edmunds blog. Things are getting more and more contentious in our lovely town and rightly so.

I am getting very concerned about the effect of the development under discussion and being someone who cares for our town and the impact this is having, I decided to write directly to the development company Centros Miller. After all, there seems to be no apparent connection between them and the people who will be spending their hard-earned cash in the new shopping development. So, having found the main man who is directly responsible for delivering the development, off went the email as follows:

..."You will have probably been aware of the historic furore over the development of the Cattle Market area and all the issues that have been raised by the residents.

Being a relative newcomer to the town, the development is of no particular concern to me. I see the economic advantages that it would offer and I think that the impact on local business will be positive. However, what is very concerning is the building discontent amongst the population at large of the naming of the development....i.e. Arc.

We are already seeing the local newspaper harnessing public opinion. It will be of no surprise to you that residents are "up in arms" over the Arc name. As well as local residents, it has also become a hot potato amongst the local council chamber.

I don't particularly like the name, but at the same time I recognise that there are certain steps that need to be taken regarding the marketing of such developments to potential lease-holders. One of our councillors has given the impression that Arc is just a working name, which will be renamed when it is opened. Is this correct?

The key issue here is that there are cross-sections of the population who are furious that there has been no public consultation over the naming of the development. It has become evident to me since moving into the area that the people of Bury St Edmunds don't just live here, they feel an immense sense of ownership over the town, almost like caretakers in a way, and want to preserve one of England's real gems.

I feel that this is becoming a major Public Relations issue, which if it isn't dealt with now could impact upon the future of the Cattle Market development.

Bury St Edmunds has already made regular laughable headlines in the national press, the latest being the abolishment of the Town Council which was featured on Newsnight recently. What I don't want to see is the Cattle Market/Arc development falling into the same category, creating bad press for the development, with the risk of it turning into a white elephant.

If there is any public statement that Centros-Miller could make concerning the residents' objections, outlining the decisions over the naming of the development and whether there are opportunities for public consultation, I believe there is no better time do do this than now.

I hope that this is something that you can take on board and in doing so, I look forward to witnessing a more positive local reaction to the development"...

Now, I know there will be many who don't agree with the development full stop, but we can't do anything about that now. The building work is well under way and if it helps us retain the expenditure in the town of those residents who currently go off and spend their money in Ipswich instead of coming into Bury, then that will be a good thing.

I am just hoping that this email from an average person like me to the "Horses Mouth" will have some impact (no matter how small) on our future ownership of this extension to our town centre. The man at Centros Miller will probably be too busy to reply back, but if I get a reply, I will let you know.

(Copyright in the above image belongs to Centros Miller)

3 Comments:

Ruby in Bury said...

Good one. I hope you get a reply.

Ruby in Bury said...

"It has become evident to me since moving into the area that the people of Bury St Edmunds don't just live here, they feel an immense sense of ownership over the town, almost like caretakers in a way, and want to preserve one of England's real gems"

Yes. You're spot on with that observation. They sometimes don't always communicate it in the best of ways ;-) but their intentions are good.

21st Century Mummy said...

Thanks Ruby ~ It's great that a town is well-looked after in this way. Very different to some of the places that I have lived.