New man takes the reins of Wokingham's regeneration

Published: 28 Feb 2014 09:001 comment

The new man heading up Wokingham’s regeneration officially took the reins last week.

Philip Mirfin, new executive member for regeneration

Cllr Philip Mirfin re-places Cllr Alistair Corrie, who was the borough council’s executive member for regeneration for two years and is stepping down to concentrate on his business commitments.

Cllr Mirfin, who has represented Emmbrook ward since 2004, is now part of Wokingham Borough Council’s decision-making executive.

In his new role, he will oversee the regeneration of Wokingham town centre, including the redevelopment of the Peach Street area and Elms Field. The two planning applications for the regeneration were withdrawn in December, to review some design aspects,

Cllr Mirfin – who is also leader of Wokingham Town Council – said: “The project team is currently looking at changes to the design of the proposals at Peach Street and the new town park.

“Over the coming weeks we will be going out and knocking on doors across the borough, to understand the thoughts of local residents about improving the town centre.”

Cllr David Lee, leader of the council, added: “It is excellent news that Philip is joining the executive; he is passionate about Wokingham and the need to improve the town centre, and I have every confidence in his ability to deliver.

“I am sad to be losing the services of Alistair. On behalf of the council, I should like to thank him for his service.”

Cllr Corrie has left his role as executive member for regeneration ahead of stepping down as a councillor in May.

He explained his decision had not been prompted by the strength of local opposition to some of the borough council’s plans to redevelop Elms Field as part of its regeneration plans. Cllr Corrie said: “It’s not that at all. It’s been difficult, I’m not going to lie but it’s not the reason why I’m stepping down. I learned a lot from the process.”

He will not be standing for re-election at this year’s council elections, after representing Evendons ward for four years.

“My wife and I will be focusing on our two companies, in accountancy and personal development,” added Cllr Corrie.

“I am sad to be leaving, and excited for the future. It’s both really – mixed emotions.”

Cllr Corrie said his biggest achievement was getting the town council to support the proposals, which it initially had not.

He did not rule out a

political comeback and said: “I hope to return to the council in the future. I have got a lot I could give back.”

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