As members may have read about in the press, sustainable transport charity Sustrans have been commissioned to explore views on the Market Place. As many will recall, Hexham Civic Society has long-pressed for the area to be made more of and we welcome this news.
The Hexham Courant reported that “A public consultation is now under way to collect the views of residents, businesses, market traders and shoppers on how to make the historic heart of the town more attractive and user-friendly.
Supported by funding from Northumberland County Council’s Local Transport Plan, Hexham Town Council invited local businesses to tender for the consultation and design stages of the project.
Three bids were forthcoming and sustainable transport charity Sustrans, which specialises in working with communities to develop designs for change, was appointed.
Since then, Sustrans representatives have made regular appearances at Hexham’s Tuesday market, armed with maps and display boards which encourage people to share their thoughts.
Mayor of Hexham, Coun. Trevor Cessford explained to a meeting of Hexham Town Council on Monday that an interactive website was also up and running to collect comments online.
“The website is called a Sticky World site and allows you to actually target parts of the Market Place and put a sticky note on it with your comments,” said Coun. Cessford.
“All the information received will be put together to help inform us on what people want.
“We’re making this whole process open, honest and transparent.”
Deputy Mayor, Coun. Tom Gillanders, said: “Sustrans are also well aware that the days they have been in the Market Place fall within the school holidays and a lot of people may not be here. But they are looking at this as the first tranche of consultation, if you like, and they are planning more dates once the schools are back.”
The meeting heard that Sustrans would be in the Market Place next Saturday, August 13, and that a public meeting would be held once designs were drawn up.
“Our approach is inclusive and focuses on engagement and consultation,” said Kieran McSherry, design manager at Sustrans North East.
“We would encourage people to engage in our ‘co-design’ process.”
Go to hexhammarketplace.stickyworld.com/home to add your comments online.