A new Town Centre Team has been formed in Romford, tasked specifically with looking at how to improve the town centre Market Place.
Councillors from the three Wards of St. Edward’s, St. Alban’s and Rush Green & Crowlands, Andrew Rosindell M.P. and two M.P.’s Representatives will co-ordinate residents’ concerns and suggestions about the Town Centre. This will support former Mayor, Cllr. Dilip Patel, who has been appointed to a new position of Deputy Cabinet Member for Business Recovery.
“Romford has been hit hard by the pandemic,” Cllr. Patel said. “As a small business owner, I know that the next year is going to be crucial in restoring our high street and protecting the jobs and services that the people of Romford have come to rely on.”
Andrew Rosindell M.P. believes that Havering benefits from a unique identity as a “Town and Country Borough” and he wants to ensure Romford retains its character. “We have seen a lot of noise made about London, reviving the West End and the tourist centres. This is good, but it’s not going to necessarily benefit Romford. Our town of Romford has a unique identity as a part of the historic country of Essex, as well as being on the edge of London. We need to make sure that our recovery retains that identity and that we don’t end up being just a commuter town for London.”
The Town Centre Team will look to engage with residents across three Wards, collecting their views as to how they would like to see Romford fight back. This will include regular meetings with local businesses and community leaders. Cllr. Judith Holt believes that now is the time to start work. “Rather than waiting till things improve, we need to start now,” Cllr. Holt said. “With Crossrail coming, there is a risk that residents find it easier to get what they need elsewhere. The Town Centre Team will be fighting to protect local businesses and services such as banks and restaurants.” “We will lobby Havering Council to continue to support al-fresco dining. Also, we will begin to look at how we can freshen up the Market Square.”