Bedford: Bayswater Council to seek residents and ratepayers’ views on rejuvenating shopping precincts

The Walter Road West and Grand Promenade intersection in Bedford.
The Walter Road West and Grand Promenade intersection in Bedford.

BAYSWATER Council has prioritised rejuvenating the “tired” Bedford shopping precincts and will survey residents and ratepayers on the future of the area.

The council supported Councillor Lorna Clarke’s motion which requested chief executive Andrew Brien develop a proposal by March 2019 to survey Bedford residents and ratepayers at last month’s meeting.

The survey would determine whether people wanted more placemaking initiatives and rejuvenation of shopping precincts.

Bedford has three key shopping precincts – the corner of Grand Promenade and Craven Street, corner of Walter Road West and Grand Promenade and along Beaufort Street near the boundary of the cities of Bayswater and Stirling.

According to the City’s records, there were currently about 2235 ratepayers in Bedford, with an additional 970 residents.

Cr Clarke said Bedford was a “lovely area” but it did not have very active community groups and should not be neglected.

“I know that some of the local shops felt like they needed more support from council,” she said.

“I wanted to go out and start from scratch and actually seek input and views in this local area, particularly around various shopping precincts into what may be fixed up.

“The reason I worded it in particular to develop a proposal in March 2019 is that we would then have a path going forward that we could then take into our budget discussions.”

Cr Sally Palmer said something needed to be done to make the area look “grand”.

Cr Catherine Ehrhardt, who voted against the motion, said in principle, she was not opposed to the idea but was unsupportive of spending $6500 towards a survey that residents would respond with wanting rejuvenation at the “tired” precincts.

Mayor Dan Bull said there had been a focus on Bayswater but not enough on Bedford so it was time for council to get on the “front foot”.

Officers said a future report to council would need to include the type and purpose of survey, questions asked and who to survey.

The City’s two place managers did not currently have the capacity to work with another town centre and continue to provide the expected level of service in the existing town centres.