Tim Atkins, Managing Director of Place and Economic Development in Cheltenham Borough Council gave the first of this year’s talks at Parmoor House on 7 February.
He compared the 1930s tourist poster of the town, depicting a tree lined Promenade outside the Municipal Offices, with the reality of today – thirteen lines of traffic between Royal Crescent and the shops circulating around the building.
What does this do for air pollution, the visual environment, the enjoyment of the space? Is this the nearest we have to a focal point for the town? How do the planners balance the needs of residents and visitors, especially for parking? Yet, far fewer people, drive into town than we imagine.
What is Cheltenham’s USP for visitors? Tourism may be the central plank of economic development in twenty years’ time. What else can Cheltenham realistically offer? And many more challenging questions and statements for the capacity audience.