With non-essential shops and businesses free to reopen from 15 June, the council has been putting plans in place to make the town centre a safe and healthy environment for shoppers and traders alike.
Visitors will be coming back to a town that is very different to the one you knew pre-lockdown.
Ever since the Government announced 15 June as the date non-essential businesses can reopen, we have been in discussions with traders about the measures needed to ensure the safety of themselves, their staff and visitors.
Those discussions have centred on numbers allowed into buildings at any one time, safe queueing systems outside premises, and social distancing.
Anyone who has visited the town centre in the last week or two will have already seen quite lengthy queues for some of the bigger stores and banks and building societies. These will only grow as more businesses open.
We are working closely with businesses to ensure queues for different premises don’t merge and that there is room for people to pass on their way to other destinations.
We are also introducing a team of Town Centre Marshals to monitor queues and offer advice and guidance to members of the public to help them stay safe. I would ask you all to follow that advice in the spirit it is intended.
While we are doing all we can to make the town as safe as possible and to help our traders and the local economy get back up and running, we still need you to take personal responsibility, cooperate with all the measures being put in place, and remember that COVID-19 is still a very real threat.
Although more shops and businesses will be opening from 15 June there are still restrictions in place on meeting people from outside of your household and, of course, around social distancing.
I would ask anyone visiting the town to support our local traders to be sensible and continue to follow all Government guidance and the advice of our Town Centre Marshals and shop staff at all times.
Working together we can bring our town centre back to life.
Cllr John Burden