Your chance to shape Winchester’s future economy
As the country climbs slowly out of recession and government spending cuts are predicted with gloom, the people of the Winchester District are helping to shape a rather more positive economic approach for the next decade.
Local residents and businesses are now being invited to comment on a draft economic strategy for the District which has been drawn together after months of discussion, analysis and evidence-gathering. The document, spanning ten years from 2010 to 2020, is available to view on the City Council’s website www.winchester.gov.uk/economicstrategy and a printed copy is also available in the Council’s customer service centre on Colebrook Street.
The strategy describes the current state of Winchester’s economy, splitting the District into three geographical areas of Winchester town, the southern urban areas, and the rural district. Five key industry sectors are identified and given special consideration - tourism, retail, knowledge & creative industries, public administration & services, and land based industries. The strategy also looks ahead at developing trends, likely events that will impact on the economy, and the main opportunities for Winchester to maintain a diverse and prosperous economy over the long term. One of the issues addressed by the strategy is the need to work towards a low carbon economy, both to provide new jobs for tomorrow’s workforce and to protect the District.
Cllr George Beckett, Leader of Winchester City Council with responsibility for economy and tourism, is looking forward to some interesting debate around the draft strategy: “The strategy paints a helpful picture of our economic landscape but, more importantly, it contains a comprehensive action plan setting out how we will achieve the targets we have set for ourselves and our partner organisations. I would encourage everyone to have their say on this vital document and make sure we are heading for an economic future from which all benefit.”
Winchester City Council’s Head of Economic and Cultural Services, Eloise Appleby, added: “After months of wall-to-wall media coverage of the recession, the economy can seem a dry topic, but it’s something that affects us all. Among other things, this strategy is about the jobs we have now and those that our children will do in the future, the shops and businesses we use every day, the traffic jams we sit in during rush hour, our environmental impact, the quality of life we enjoy, and the visitors we welcome to the district each year. Everyone has a view on these matters and we are really keen to gather a wide range of opinions and ideas to ensure that our district thrives over the coming years.”
The consultation period lasts until 19 February 2010 and consists of five key questions about the vision for the future economy of the District and the way we will achieve this vision. Local business groups and other key stakeholders will be invited to respond, but the Economic and Cultural Services Division of Winchester City Council welcome feedback from any member of the public.