Redditch Conservatives have pledged to keeping two centres in Winyates and Matchborough and have committed to putting disabled access at the heart of regeneration plans following what it describes as a ‘listening campaign’ ahead of elections on 2 May. This pledge comes in direct response to misleading rumours and speculation being spread by the Labour Party, designed to frighten residents and businesses for their political gain.

Speaking about the commitments, Matt Dormer, leader of the Conservative group on the Borough Council said:

“We have never had a policy to remove either of the two centres, but earlier this year we went out seeking ideas and partners to help the council see what is possible.”

As a result of the ‘soft market testing’ carried out earlier in the year a number of developers showed an interest and some shared ideas with one centre, whilst others thought two centres were still viable. Local Conservatives have also been gathering opinions through a social media campaign and through their website.

Matt Dormer said:

“Now we know two centres are actually viable as a result of testing we’re going to support two centres.”

He added:

“We are also going to put disabled access at the heart of regeneration plans, ensuring that the centres have the best facilities for those who need them.”

“People have also been asking for more leisure options in the local area so we are going to explore options around this.”

Hitting out at the opposition Labour Party in particular Matt Dormer added:

“Labour have tried to play politics with this issue by frightening local residents into thinking we are going to demolish their centres where some of them live.“

“We have seen petitions, photo ops and misleading statements put out by candidates seeking election.”

“But when meetings were held about the centres nobody from Labour turned up, despite being specifically invited.”

Borough Councillors have already agreed to no reduction in the number of properties available for social rent at the centres.

“Labour has been playing politics with people’s homes and businesses. It’s time to put a stop to it.”

“I hope this clear statement of support for two entirely separate centres will put people’s minds at ease.”

Speaking about his vision for the centres Matt added:

“We are very keen to see a range of improvements especially around disability access and leisure options as the face of retail is evolving.”

“A vote for the Conservatives at these elections is a vote for regeneration that will unlock our centres and put them back on the map as well as at the heart of their communities for many years to come.”

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