Residents shun Portas Pilot

There have been no applications for the position reserved for a local resident on the Town Team Board which will oversee the work of the Portas Pilot initiative in Stockport.

A spokesman for Stockport Council said the application process would remain open for the resident's place but was not immediately able to explain why no-one had applied or how extensive the marketing of the position had been.

Meanwhile, filling places for local retail representatives and politicians was not so difficult.

The selection panel, made up of local business leaders and council members, chose the following representatives to be appointed to the Board:

  • Market trader: Corin Bland, High Peak Beer
  • National Market Traders Federation president Stockport branch: John O' Mara
  • Independent trader: Paul Bowes, James Bowes Jewellers and Kevin Nurse, CeX, Princes Street, joint application
  • Major retailer: Kate Pickup, Debenhams
  • Food & drink: Dave Howarth, Rhode Island Coffee
  • Young people: Adam Thorneycroft, Spot on Youth Club
  • Cultural/creative: Ted Doan, Plaza
  • Voluntary sector: Rachel Jones, Pure Innovation
  • Chamber of Commerce: Matthew Kershaw
  • Commercial, via the Chamber of Commerce: Ben Poland, Salamander Rentals and Stockport Business Awards

There are also the following fixed representatives:

  • Cllr Iain Roberts, Stockport Council's executive member for economic development and regeneration
  • Ann Coffey MP
  • Merseyway Centre Management Brendan Webb and Brian Adshead

Cllr Roberts said: "Through the Town Centre Management network approaches have been made to individual residents and residents groups who responded to the Portas Pilot announcements to fill the vacancy on the Town Team Board.

"We have received a number of enquiries over the last few days and we feel confident that a residents rep will come forward and be appointed soon.

"People interested in this position should contact"

As well as the board there will be a wider Town Team including 'everyone within the town centre who wants to be involved, find out what's going on, have their say and meet others.'

Stockport's Town Centre Business and Retail Forum called for nominations to make up the Board. Members were also asked to vote on the selection process. The majority voted for a selection panel comprising the president of the Stockport branch of the Chamber of Commerce, chairman of the Stockport Town Centre Business & Retail Forum and executive member for economic development and regeneration at Stockport Council.

The first meeting of the Town Team Board will take place as soon as possible and a chairman will be nominated.

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I have not seen anything about public involvement with the Portas scheme. Was it ever advertised and, if so, where?

By beryl hatton