In our regular councillor’s column, Michael Rye talks up Town ward
I have represented what is now Town ward since 1994 and it is a real pleasure to serve the area where I have lived almost all of my life.
I try to provide a response to constituent enquiries within 24 hours. Issues raised by constituents range from a missed refuse collection to a council housing refurbishment.
Both prior to May 2014 and subsequently, a major issue for many residents has been the number of empty shops in Enfield Town. The reasons for this are complex, including unrealistic rents, the cost of business rates, uncertainty over the Cycle Enfield programme, and of course the huge change in the way we shop.
I have lobbied the council for many months, requesting enforcement action against empty shops and for information to be sent to landlords about how to change from retail to restaurant or cafe where appropriate. I managed to get the council to install new lights on Library Green and have been promised that the cafe in the library will be open again before Easter. I also congratulate local traders for their appeal for funds for Christmas lights, which the council agreed to match-fund.
The council has set up an empty shops working party, which I serve on, and enforcement action has now been taken. I am optimistic we can improve Enfield Town and make it a more vibrant place to shop and eat both during the day and in the evening. If you are concerned about our town centre, please use it!
In Town ward we have many groups of passionate volunteers. I congratulate all the volunteers we work with, including friends groups, residents associations, neighbourhood watch, and local police team. I also serve on the Old Enfield Charitable Trust which owns Market Square and makes grants totalling many thousands of pounds to local people in need.
As a member of the Conservative opposition group it is important to scrutinise the actions of the Labour administration and hold them to account. We have for example been particularly critical of the slow progress (eight-and-a-half years) on the small housing sites in Parsonage Lane and Forty Hill. It is especially important when resources are tight that the council makes good decisions.
Since May 2018 we have held two ward forums and we also hold weekly surgeries, and occasional coffee mornings. I am proud to represent Town ward and believe Enfield is a great place to live, work and play.
Cllr Rye is one of three councillors elected to represent Town, alongside Lindsay Rawlings and James Steven (all Conservative). Surgeries are held at Enfield Civic Centre, usually on Wednesday mornings.
Call 020 8351 1384
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