Town Team will help regenerate Gosport high street

PASSIONATE From left, Brian Russell of the Gosporteers, Lisa Williams owner of Bizzie Bees, Lynette Fossey owner of Your Senses Sweet Wise, Angela Gill manager of Gosport Discovery Centre, Lin Wilson who runs Solent Events & Leisure, Maggie Allington owner of Weddings of Distinction, Anita Muff manager at Gosport Citizen's Advice Bureau and Rich Reynolds are some of the candidates
PASSIONATE From left, Brian Russell of the Gosporteers, Lisa Williams owner of Bizzie Bees, Lynette Fossey owner of Your Senses Sweet Wise, Angela Gill manager of Gosport Discovery Centre, Lin Wilson who runs Solent Events & Leisure, Maggie Allington owner of Weddings of Distinction, Anita Muff manager at Gosport Citizen's Advice Bureau and Rich Reynolds are some of the candidates
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PASSIONATE residents and business owners have put themselves up for election in the hope they will be chosen to help decide how to spend £100,000 in Gosport.

The Town Team meets to discuss ideas but with elected members they will be able to help Gosport Borough Council spend the cash, along with an additional £10,000 won for it by MP Caroline Dinenage.

Successful candidates will face the challenge of improving Gosport High Street, including tacking the problem of empty shops.

The 22 candidates are grouped into six categories: retailer, including market trader; non-retail business; landlord or property professional; public agency; resident and voluntary or community group.

Karen Goodwin, owner of Goodwins Studio in North Cross Street, is a candidate for the retailer group and is confident the team can do it.

She said: ‘All of us that are involved in the Town Team want to make Gosport vibrant.

‘The main emphasis is on the empty shops but going forward we should try to bring in more quirky shops.’

And the nominations, which closed on Wednesday, meant that the existing group has attracted new nominees.

If elected, members will be responsible for responding to the results of the survey, which asked the local community how to improve the town centre.

Lin Wilson owner of Solent Events & Leisure, Priddys Hard, a candidate in the non-retail group, said that the survey will help shape any future action.

She said: ‘They are being collated and when they come together we can be on the same page as businesses and residents.

‘As you can imagine this has been attempted in a small way before in Gosport, people think it will fall by but this time we’ll do it. Gosport is no different or worse than other small cities in the UK.’

Voting takes place online from now on gosport.gov.uk/townteam and at an open meeting on Wednesday at the Gosport Discovery Centre at 5.30pm.