30 Nov 2012

Cornhill Market Square should not have access closed

Cornhill Market Square
There is a proposal to close Cornhill Market Square in Stroud on weekdays, which apparently came from the police to counter anti-social behaviour. I have sought, without joy so far, to gain information on the nature of the problems and what has been done to try and tackle them. Maybe there is another way?

There is some sort of consultation going on and I've submitted comments several weeks ago. My concerns initially were around the poor extent of the consultation but I am aware that more people have now been contacted for their views. There is still just time to write to Mark Vincent at Stroud District Council if you have thoughts..

Bus services incl our local 230 service run to that point and people access the town through that square. It is my view that rather than close a public space like that we should look to encourage more use of the square by the public so that there is less opportunity for antisocial behaviour?

Here for example is a comment sent to me: "I am concerned about public space being locked and unavailable for most of the week. Clearly a balance needs to be struck between nuisance and closing space - but only if the nuisance is overwhelming. What is the evidence and level? Sadly some people do need dry space to congregate (and even drink cheap alcohol if they can't afford pub prices). This proposal seems to be part of the gentrification of Stroud - and intolerance of those that have different lifestyles."

Here is another: "My own view is that the more the square is used by the general public the less opportunity for antisocial behaviour there will be. It would be good if SDC encouraged more use of the market, not less, and linking up the various public spaces in the town centre. I would like to see the market square toilets open on weekdays which would further encourage public access and footfall."

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