Morecambe’s Portas chief issues rallying cry

John Watkins.
John Watkins.
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A leading light in the battle to kickstart Morecambe town centre has defended his team’s track record.

John Watkins, chair of the Town Team, hit back against traders’ claims that the group had failed to deliver on promises to improve Victoria Street.

Morecambe was awarded £100,000 after a successful bid to become a Government ‘Portas Pilot Town’ last July.

Shopkeepers on Victoria Street said they had seen few visible improvements since then.

But Mr Watkins said: “It’s all well and good for people to say ‘what have you done?’ but what have they done?

“Everyone in the Town Team gives their time for free.

“We are only a small voice in the town. We are keen for more people to get involved. We need everyone to pull together to make a change and create a lasting legacy for Morecambe.”

Mr Watkins said the Town Team would spend £2,500 on an in-depth analysis of town centre shops and hoped to develop a new website to promote small businesses.