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Town centre public meeting

This weekend Jessica hosted a public meeting to discuss the future of the town centre at St Augustin's Church Hall. Jessica was joined by artist and GIANT gallery founder Stuart Semple and Cllr Jamie Martin who shared their thoughts and answered questions from attendees.

Over 100 people attended to share their views of the challenges facing the town centre as well as their aspirations for its future.

A number of clear messages emerged. Firstly, the need to get the basics right - whether that be clean streets or access to public toilets.

Secondly, the town also needs a clear vision for the town's future. One that builds on the things that make Bournemouth so special - its stunning natural beauty, its leadership in creativity and innovation, and its food and fitness culture. This vision needs to be something everyone can get behind. It needs to help build a cohesive identity and support the local community. It is also the starting point from which to solve some of our most pressing challenges.

Jessica and Stuart both spoke about where this is already working. By prioritising the positive qualities of the town, it is possible to build something new and unique. Towns like Margate and Eastbourne have done it with investment in the arts to drive footfall and support local businesses. Semple powerfully set out how this can act as a catalyst - creating greater community cohesion, supporting the local economy and generating wider interest in the town.

Jessica also talked about Labour's plans to revive our high streets, support small businesses and grow our economy - and why she cares so much about the town.

Jessica not only has great memories of Bournemouth, but she is also continually impressed with the creative and entrepreneurial energy of people she meet.

During the event, she made a commitment to always be active, approachable and ready to work hard for and with the community to solve problems, all year round, as the local MP.

The event was covered by the Bournemouth Echo and Jessica and Stuart produced a short video about the event. You can see both below.

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