The Hatfield Town Centre Forum was launched last week, (30 July). Representatives from Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council, Hatfield Town Council, St Modwen, ASDA, Action Hatfield as well as local retailers and landlords came together to agree interim improvements to the town centre until the regeneration can get back underway.
It was agreed that the town centre needs to be lighter and brighter and vacant units need to be better maintained. The group aims to improve the environment and atmosphere in the centre so more families and local residents visit. More events and social activities have also been suggested to encourage people to come into the centre.
The council is working with the traders to increase the number of events in the town centre. Funding has been agreed to ensure the popular Farmers Market remains in the town centre. In addition a special Christmas event will be planned and the Christmas tree and market place trees will be lit with new upgraded LED lighting this year.
Town Centre Forum Members, Mick and Toni Penstone from County Promotions, who manage the Wednesday and Saturday town centre market, confirmed that this will also remain in the centre and that they are currently looking for new stall holders to expand the market.
The Forum is also looking to increase the number of social events for younger residents in the town centre, including face-painting and the possibility of having a skate park day as well as festival days.
Improvements which are already underway include, the installation of CCTV cameras, contacting landlords to improve the appearance of the boarded up properties as well as making efforts to increase the number of units in use, an increase in the number of patrols in the town centre from Police, PCSO’s and Street Wardens.
Other improvements include the removal of graffiti, replacing and repairing benches and bins in the town centre as well as the replanting of flower beds in the town centre. The council will also be writing to banks to encourage them to open on Saturdays.
The Hatfield Town Centre Forum will also be working with Hertfordshire County Council to improve lighting in the centre as well as repairing damaged or uneven paving slabs.
If you have any concerns about lighting or paving in the area, you can report this direct to Hertfordshire County Council’s Highways department on 01438 737320
Notes to editors
Hatfield Town Centre Forum meetings will take place every 6-8 weeks.
The Forum members include:
Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council
Councillor John Dean (Chair)
St Modwen Properties PLC
Hatfield Town Council
Cllr Margaret White
Cllr Dave Cave
Hitesh & Jay Jethwa