Think fast for a part in Portas Pilot

File photo dated 22/05/11 of Mary Portas, who has branded the women in David Cameron's Cabinet 'an ugly bunch'.
File photo dated 22/05/11 of Mary Portas, who has branded the women in David Cameron's Cabinet 'an ugly bunch'.
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A ‘FANTASTIC’ opportunity for a high street rejuvenation scheme worth £100,000 had to be turned down by Billingshurst Parish Council due to a ‘ridiculous’ time limit.

Mary Portas has put together a ‘Portas Pilot’ which will award up to £100,000 to towns which prove themselves eligible of becoming a ‘town team’ by the March 30.

JPCT-09-03-12 Billingshurst. High Street.  S12110045a -photo by Steve Cobb

JPCT-09-03-12 Billingshurst. High Street. S12110045a -photo by Steve Cobb

Councillors at a Billingshurst Parish Council meeting on Wednesday night (March 7) discussed the opportunity and councillor Garry Commins pointed out that ‘the time limit of two weeks is ridiculous’.

The Portas Pilot states that a town team will act as ‘a visionary, strategic and strong operational management team for high streets’.

Town team hopefuls have to put together a committee to ‘articulate a vision for the high street’ which follows a strict criteria and can be replicated elsewhere, along with a supporting submission video outlining why their pilot should be chosen.

Councillor David Hart said: “It is a fantastic opportunity for any town that can do it in the time.”

But Mr Hart added that he thought it is ‘spectacularly naïve’ for the government to think that a plan created to be implemented in Billingshurst could be implemented in other towns.

For more Billingshurst news, including a story on a Jubilee flag and a 20 mile per hour speed limit proposal, read this Thursday’s County Times newspaper.