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‘We don’t have enough imagination’ - town warned it must be creative to bring ‘real change’

PUBLISHED: 16:04 24 January 2020 | UPDATED: 19:36 25 January 2020

Thetford and Breckland councillor Mike Brindle wants to improve the town for generations to come. Photo: Emily Thomson

Thetford and Breckland councillor Mike Brindle wants to improve the town for generations to come. Photo: Emily Thomson

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A town must think more creatively if it is to improve for future generations, a councillor has claimed.

Thetford Town Councillor Mike Brindle calls for a united vision to plan for town's future. Photo: Emily ThomsonThetford Town Councillor Mike Brindle calls for a united vision to plan for town's future. Photo: Emily Thomson

Thetford and Breckland councillor Mike Brindle has called on his fellow councillors to use their imagination to bring real change to the town.

With the council's budget set to be released, he said it must take control to make needed improvements.

"No one is asking 'what do we want Thetford to look like in ten years or twenty years?'," he said.

"It only looks at the year ahead and each committee does its own thing.

Thetford Town Councillor Mike Brindle calls for a united vision to plan for town's future. Photo: Emily ThomsonThetford Town Councillor Mike Brindle calls for a united vision to plan for town's future. Photo: Emily Thomson

"But if we knew what we wanted to focus on, everyone could work towards the same goal.

"The town council needs to take a lead so we can present ideas, but I'm not sure the budget has enough imagination."

He said focus should be shifted away from retail to find more "creative" ways to attract visitors including flats and more entertainment by the river and using the town's heritage to create interactive trails and tours.

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Mr Brindle said: "We have retailers saying nationally they have had their worst year ever.

"I don't think we will get more shops here, its naïve to think we will."

Now Mr Brindle is asking the community to help the council create this vision.

MORE: Have your say: What is the future of Thetford's town centre?

But fellow Breckland and Thetford Councillor Roy Brame said, despite agreeing with Mr Brindle's vision for a united goal and improving the town, that he just can not see how the council would achieve a 20-year-plan.

Mr Brame said: "I like the idea and I would love to if we had the money coming in, but under the current climate I don't see how you plan that far ahead.

"How can we commit the next council into doing it, because visions change?

"We need so many more people living in the town centre, that is the only way to generate footfall but Primark will not put a shop in Thetford.

"What the council should be looking at is leisure and tourism and giving the people who come for our heritage centres a something else to stay for."


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