Meet the board
Jill Rhodes, Leader of Crewe Town Council
I am the Leader of Crewe Town Council and member of Crewe Town Board and would like to share my perspective on what the Towns Fund could bring Crewe, if the town is successful in its bid.
Securing funding for Crewe via the Government’s Towns Fund would enable us to put in place a 10-year strategy for Crewe. Having a unifying vision for the town’s future that is based on the needs and wants of Crewe people – I see that as something that will really energise our town. With the help of residents and community stakeholders, the Town Board can take a proactive stance in the development of our town and create something that is relevant and unique to us. That long term view, with the potential of funding attached to it, means this is an exciting time for Crewe.
Crewe is a really family-focussed town, we choose to stay near to those dearest to us. This engenders close-knit communities all over town, but we need to make sure we give local people and visitors really good reasons to come in to town on a regular basis. We hold really enjoyable events – like Lumen and trAction – these are exactly the kinds of activities that we can build on in the short-term because we have a really active community of local performers as well as event organisers.
We know some of the obstacles that the town faces. Many of us get frustrated with the traffic congestion – we need a long-term vision to solve this. We need to solve these issues in a way that caters to a wide range of people – is it cycle lanes, public transport of some kind or a combination of solutions?
We would love every gateway into the town to welcome everyone in. With a little imagination, we could incorporate art into our environment that lifts people’s spirits – on roundabouts or painted on the ends of terraces. We have a blank page to think creatively about how art in our town centre could serve more than one purpose. For example, Liverpool and Manchester have water features that double as play spaces for children to run around in on a hot summer’s day.
And we must model on what is working so well at the moment. There are some incredible community groups and charities that are working independently to keep our history alive, creating sports and arts activities for young people with disabilities and supporting the delivery of our culture strategy.
Clearly, the current pandemic is impacting many people’s lives. If we can secure £25 million of government funding, the people of Crewe will quickly see us delivering a range of projects that will benefit their work and leisure time in the town.
We are working on this as a long-term vision for Crewe. The Government’s scope around Towns Fund is clearly defined so not everything we want to do will fit, but we see this bid as a launchpad for future plans.
“Having a unifying vision for the town’s future that is based on the needs and wants of Crewe people – I see that as something that will really energise our town”.