Busy high street up for award

Clouncillors Scott Benton and Howard Blagbrough with Craig Whittaker MP at the Brighouse Market
Clouncillors Scott Benton and Howard Blagbrough with Craig Whittaker MP at the Brighouse Market

Along with many Echo readers, I spent last weekend at the Canal Festival Street Market in Brighouse.

It was fantastic to see the town centre brimming with people enjoying the market and the varied entertainment on offer (not to mention the sunshine)!

The Brighouse Business Initiative (BBI) once again did a great job in organising the event and I’m sure that the businesses in the town centre will continue to benefit from the exposure that these events give to the town. When speaking to shoppers at these markets, I am always surprised by how many people have travelled a considerable distance to come to Brighouse which really is a great reflection upon the tremendous success of these markets and the retail offer that we have in Brighouse.

When you look at similar sized towns across West Yorkshire and eastern Lancashire, you realise how well Brighouse compares in terms of measures such as the percentage of empty units and the number of successful independent retailers.

We have a thriving town centre which we can all be proud of and we owe the BBI a huge debt of gratitude for all of their hard work in organising these events and promoting the town centre more generally.

The Government has established an annual ‘High-Street’ award competition whereby innovative town centres and communities can be nominated for an award on account of the quality of their High-Street.

There are various categories for the different sizes of communities and a prize fund of £50 000 is available for the winner of each category.

My ward colleague, Coun Howard Blagbrough, and I have nominated Brighouse for the award on account of everything that our town centre has to offer.

Whilst the competition in the ‘market town’ category will no doubt be of a high standard, I am hopefully that the judges will be impressed by everything that Brighouse has to offer – I’m sure that they would have been if they were fortunate enough to visit during last weekend.

Cemetery clean-up

I have been working with the Council’s Cemeteries Team in an effort to address public concern with regards to the maintenance of Brighouse Cemetery. The size of the cemetery presents considerable challenges when it comes to issues of maintenance and although the Council generally do a good job, I am aware of some concerns in relation to varying aspects of the site.

In an effort to address some of these concerns, we organised a ‘Community Clean-Up’. Residents worked alongside members of the cemeteries team in tackling some of the areas of concern. I would like to thank all of those who came along and helped. Whilst it would have been nice to have a few more volunteers, we made good progress. Councillor Blagbrough and I will be looking to organise another ‘clean-up’ day in the future and so we would love to hear from those interested in helping out.

By Councillor Scott Benton (Brighouse, Con)