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Dewsbury trade group says co-operation key to town’s regeneration

Co-operation call: Chamber of Trade secretary Bruce Bird.
Co-operation call: Chamber of Trade secretary Bruce Bird.

Dewsbury Chamber of Trade members have said they are playing a vital role in the regeneration of Dewsbury town centre and are now talking with other groups to help them in their task.

A working group under the heading Dewsbury Forward now meets regularly with councillors, community groups and other agencies to deal with regeneration issues.

The Chamber is actively recruiting new members to strengthen its hand and has just launched a new website at www.DewsburyChamber.co.uk.

It is now urging the Vote Dewsbury campaign, which is lobbying for a Dewsbury town council, to discuss with them the best way forward for the area.

Bruce Bird, secretary of the Chamber, said co-operation with existing organisations would serve Dewsbury better and faster than spending time, money and energy on campaigns for a town council.

Paul Ellis, leading the Dewsbury Forward group, said a town council would only add another layer of bureaucracy which could add between £100 to £150 a year on council tax bills.

Marilyn Shaw, treasurer of the Chamber, and a director of a local company, said what the Chamber was saying was not just wishful thinking.

She said: “We have already pledged £5,000 towards beautifying the Market Place and filling it with trees and flowers for next spring.

“We support the council in its efforts but we also discuss with them other suggestions when we think they are justified.

“But if there are people who are not happy with the council they have, then wanting to add another council on top hardly seems sensible.”

Some of the big investors in Dewsbury have joined the Chamber and are working with them to improve things.

Three of them are separately investing in reopening the Black Bull pub, converting Bailey’s cafe into a Frankie’s burger bar, and the new Cake Box, which will help transform the west end of Market Place.