BURTON has been left ‘rudderless’ following the exit of its town centre manager – six months ago, the MP has claimed.
Paul Howard, Burton’s previous town centre manager, left the helm in December after seven years in the role, but his replacement has still not been seriously discussed, leading to Burton MP, Andrew Griffiths, calling for an ‘immediate hunt’ for a candidate.
He said: “I find it incredible that the town has been rudderless at a time when the economy is just starting to pick up.
“It is just the right time when we need an important leader in that role, going out, grabbing high street retailers by the collar and getting them into Burton.
“I am desperately worried that the council seems focused on the market place and is forgetting the shopping centre.
“I would like to see an immediate hunt for the best candidate possible for the resurgence of Burton town centre.
“It is a big job and needs a big character to fill it but it is unacceptable that the post isn’t replaced.”
The town centre committee, charged with attracting business and consumers to Burton, has yet to seriously discuss a replacement for the important role.
Committee member, Peter Hardingham, manager of The Octagon shopping centre, said: “It is part a parcel of discussions we have had over the last few months.”
While he admitted that no role for a manager has been advertised, it is not clear whether there will be a role in the near future.
Paul Howard, who left Burton for a new management role in Devon, came to the town in 2007 and was instrumental in securing more than £1 million of funding to help regenerate the town.
He also launched a radio network scheme and secured funding from the National Lottery.