Ideas to connect the town of Romsey, improve the night-time economy and create more green spaces were all discussed as members of Test Valley Borough Council’s cabinet were presented with ideas from participants of Romsey’s citizens’ assembly.
At the end of last year, around 50 residents from Romsey and the neighbouring villages took part in a citizens’ assembly to discuss the area which includes Crosfield Hall, the bus station and Broadwater Road car park.
Over two weekends in November, the assembly heard evidence from experts in town centre regeneration, planning, environmental issues and public health, as well as views from local stakeholders and examples from other towns. The members then voted on a number of recommendations to help transform the south of the town centre.
Those recommendations included improving road layouts and signage, bringing in designated cycleways and ensuring the River Test is easier to access. Other key messages were to consider flexible transport options, improve the public toilets and install better signage. These are now being taken in as part of a masterplan for the area south of Romsey’s town centre.
Earlier this month, some of those who took part in the assembly then spoke to members of the council’s cabinet and explained the thought process behind their decisions and recommendations at the Royal British Legion in Romsey.
Deputy leader of Test Valley Borough Council, councillor Nick Adams-King, said: “The process of the citizens’ assembly has been fascinating to watch and be involved in, so it was a fantastic opportunity to be able to listen to some of those assembly members who made those decisions to understand what they thought and why they said what they did.
“It’s also invaluable for some of the cabinet members who weren’t able to attend the assembly itself to gain more insight into the project. Rejuvenating our town centres is our top priority and it cannot be done without active and passionate residents who care about their communities.”