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Call to get town going quickly

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By Euan Maxwell
Dumfries and West

A RESTART plan has been submitted to the council to get Dumfries back up and running after the coronavirus pandemic.

Loreburn Community Council chairman Robin Wishart has sent suggestions to Dumfries and Galloway Council to be considered for the implementation as part of the restart plan for the town.
A number of suggestions has been put forward to get Dumfries “get going again and quickly” including making the High Street and the streets leading into it more pedestrian user friendly, provide grants to cafes and bars to help pay for outside facilities, engaging a street designer to assist improving the layout of the street, accelerate the refurbishment of the fountain in the town centre and improve the cleaning of the High Street with more frequent emptying of litter bins.
Other proposals include free High Street wifi, electronic information boards and a facelift program involving clearance of vegetation from roofs, gutters and facades of town centre buildings.
Mr Wishart said: “If Dumfries is to get going again and quickly, there must be a focus on how to make things HAPPEN instead of stopping initiatives.
“This puts particular responsibility on the council as the planning and licensing authority to use its powers flexibly and imaginatively to be an enabler of action rather than an impediment.”
Former council leader John Dowson has called for the local authority to make funds available so improvements can be made as soon as possible.
“They need to immediately make £100,000 available as a working budget to deliver these ideas. Currently we have a fleet of town centre ambassadors with no budget.
“It is important that the council focuses available resources at this time to rebuild our economy. The council should delay large infrastructure schemes like the Whitesands and use the money saved, more creatively in the short term.
“The council cannot be serious about any restart if it is not prepared to allocate a significant budget for our capital town.”

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