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Spalding visited by interim chairman of the Towns Unit Adam Hawksbee





The man who has been charged with turning around ‘left behind towns’ in a national project has visited the area.

Interim chairman of the Towns Unit Adam Hawksbee met with members of Spalding Town Board, which will have the responsibility of developing a plan and vision to spend £20million Levelling Up money.

Last year the Government announced that Spalding was one of 55 towns which will get a share of a £1.1 billion ‘Levelling Up’ funding pot which aims to ‘provide long-term investment in towns that have been ‘overlooked and taken for granted’ - with community engagement needing to play a pivotal role on how it is spent.

Interim chairman of the Towns Unit, Adam Hawksbee, centre, meets with Spalding Town Board chairman Robin Hancox and South Holland District Council leader Nick Worth at the Castle Sports Complex in Spalding
Interim chairman of the Towns Unit, Adam Hawksbee, centre, meets with Spalding Town Board chairman Robin Hancox and South Holland District Council leader Nick Worth at the Castle Sports Complex in Spalding

Mr Hawksbee, deputy director of the think tank Onward, has been appointed a ‘towns tsar’ by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to ‘ensure the voices of UK towns are heard loud and clear across government’. We have asked the Department for Levelling Up for clarification if this is a voluntary position or paid.

Speaking to this paper as he travelled from Boston to Spalding, Mr Hawksbee said this was a ‘call to arms’ to people and stressed that community engagement is a key aim.

He said: “This is now the moment for people to come forward with their ideas and proposals. The town board is now in place.

“This is a really is an attempt to regenerate from the bottom up and be flexible. It is led by elected politicians and members of the community that are independent of the council.

“This really is a big opportunity and I would encourage people to step forward with their ideas.”

Mr Hawksbee, who had also visited Skegness, said that there were a number of challenges facing Lincolnshire which included town centre investment, ‘connectivity’ and the economy.

He said: “There are clearly challenges with anti-social behaviour and low level crime, particularly in town centres and people might want to focus on that with CCTV provision.”

Mr Hawksbee said that his job would be to share things learned between the town boards along with ‘match making’ at a national level by bringing different levels of government and organisations together.

Spalding Town Board, which is led by local businessman Robin Hancox, held its first meeting in March.

What do you think of Mr Hawksbee’s comments? Post a comment below...



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