One of my pledges in the May 2021 election was to work to mitigate the effects of increased tourism in Dedham and the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and to ensure that we maximise the benefits that tourism brings to the local area. I have listened to local communities and business to understand the key issues and opportunities and subsequently I have been working with colleagues on Colchester Borough Council, Essex County Council and the Parish Council, as well as the Chair of the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (who is one of my borough cllr colleagues, Nigel Chapman).
Following our last meeting prior to the New Year, I have written to to Essex County Council and Colchester Borough Council with some initial ideas.
1. A campaign to promote safe and sustainable usage of waterways and surrounding areas, working with the Fire Service and Police to do so.
2. Support for countryside rangers to promote the countryside code and Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
3. A strategy to promote non-car travel alternatives to reduce excessive traffic and parking pressures.
4. A longer term objective of a tourist point that supported information on aspects of the countryside such as walks, the AONB education, countryside code etc.
5. Local rural business support network
6. Support for litter collection and a designated toilet in the carpark
7. A firmer response to illegal trading
Any thoughts or other suggestions by the local community would be welcome.