Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Sir Peter Soulsby's plan for Leicester gets it about right

I have in the past been critical of Sir Peter Soulsby and Leicester's mayoral system - in particular the way that system has led to a one-party state in Leicester and the way Sir Peter is able to use the Labour whip to remove people who are critical of him.

That said, I have to admit that his plan for Leicester - as reported in the Leicester Mercury today - seems about right:
The city mayor's blueprint – named Connecting Leicester – includes his previously announced plan for a £4 million public space – Jubilee Square – as well as extending the historic New Walk. 
The scheme also includes widening existing pedestrian areas to remove traffic from Hotel Street, St Martins and Silver Street. 
There is also to be the creation of a public gardens outside the cathedral. 
Sir Peter said the aim was to undo bad planning and road building from the 1960s and 1970s and create better links between disjointed areas such as its historic Roman heart around St Nicholas Place and the main shopping centre. 
He said: "Work done in the past has created barriers that have carved through the city. 
"I want to remove those, so the dominance of the motor vehicle is removed. It will boost pride in Leicester and encourage investment."
For a fair-minded view of Leicester's mistakes in the 1960s and 1970s, see my post about the University of Leicester video on Konrad Smigelski.

Another problem Soulsby needs to tackle is the decline of Granby Street and Gallowtree Gate. The latter used to be reputed to be the busiest shopping street in they country after London's Oxford Street. Now they struggle to support anything better than pound shops.

1 comment:

Charlieman said...

In a different news story today, Peter Soulsby tells us about his election in 1973 (perhaps 1974?):

Consequently, I feel little comfort when the Mayor tells us about how he intends to fix things. He is allegedly going to fix things that were problems 40 years ago and were problems when he led the city council 20 years ago.

I simply don't believe it.