LAURIE Taylor is looking forward to her role as Oxford’s new city centre manager as work on the new Westgate shopping centre moves forward.
Mum-of-one Miss Taylor, 39, from Oxford, will start her new job on June 30, after being appointed by Oxford City Council, Oxfordshire County Council and the Oxford Town Team.
She has been a city council employee since 2010, working as community response team leader, formerly known as street wardens.
Before she joined the council she worked in retail, managing a shop in Oxford for a national fashion chain and has also helped to run two pubs.
Miss Taylor said now was a great time to be appointed, as the Westgate shopping centre is undergoing a £400m revamp, and a refurbishment of the Clarendon Centre has been completed, featuring a new H&M fashion store.
She said: “This is an exciting time for Oxford, with the new Westgate Centre progressing well – before we know it the work will be completed.
“While we are waiting for the work to be completed we will remind people that we remain open for business throughout and will try to stage a number of events to attract people into the city. I think Oxford is now getting itself into a very good position to compete with the best.”
Miss Taylor described the Covered Market, which is owned by the city council, as a “tremendous asset” and said she intended to work closely with a market manager, who is soon to be appointed by the city council.
Shamus Donald, managing director of Newsquest Oxfordshire, who is chairman of the Oxford Town Team, said: “I am delighted Laurie is to become our city centre manager.
“Laurie’s dynamism and enthusiasm will be a great asset at a time of rapid change in Oxford.”
Miss Taylor replaces Gordon Reid as city centre manager and is the first woman to hold the post.
Traders’ spokesman Graham Jones said: “I would like to see Laurie draw up a new strategy for the city centre in her first year, covering tourism, access to the city centre, and parking. She needs to act as independently as possible and there will be times when she needs to challenge the business community as well as the local authorities.”
LAURIE Taylor has been jointly appointed to the role of city centre manager by Oxford City Council, Oxfordshire County Council and the Oxford Town Team.
She will now talk to independent businesses and national chains and convey their views to the local authorities and the town team.
The town team is a partnership of the local business community and includes representatives from shopping centres, large retailers, independent shops, and representatives from Oxford universities, Oxford colleges, and bus companies.
The city council would not reveal Miss Taylor’s precise annual salary but confirmed it was between £48,526 and £54,089.
Our top stories:
8:30am Saturday 28th November 2015
ROAD safety campaigners say they are “astonished” that drivers with as many as 51 points on their licences are still allowed on the county’s roads.
9:00am Saturday 28th November 2015
YOUNGSTERS at an Oxfordshire primary school could finally be able to tuck into their hot dinners in a dining hall after the Prime Minister came to their aid.
8:00am Saturday 28th November 2015
BAYS in Frideswide Square will be “tweaked” after bus companies complained they were too small to safely accommodate vehicles.
6:30am Saturday 28th November 2015
IT HAS called Cowley Road home for the past 90 years, but on Monday family-run Oxford timber merchant W G Powell will close its doors for the last time.
6:00am Saturday 28th November 2015
ALL over Oxfordshire thousands of older people are fighting one of the cruellest but hardest-to-spot maladies of all: loneliness.
12:09pm Friday 27th November 2015
TWO men have been arrested in connection with the murder of Kerry Reeves, 26, in Abingdon earlier this month.
7:00am Friday 27th November 2015
TRAFFIC jams are now so bad in Oxford concrete is setting in the back of delivery lorries.
9:00am Friday 27th November 2015
FORGET Frozen and park the Playstation... traditional toys are back with a bang this Christmas.
8:30am Friday 27th November 2015
INTERNET users believe some people in Oxfordshire will still struggle to get superfast broadband despite £5.6m of new funding to roll it out to 4,600 homes and businesses.
8:00am Friday 27th November 2015
NEIGHBOURS have branded the £1,500 fine dished out to a boutique hotel owner over clay pigeon shooting “pathetic”.
6:30am Friday 27th November 2015
A CIVIC group has warned plans for up to 190 new homes at Wolvercote’s former paper mill could worsen traffic and air pollution in North Oxford.
6:00am Friday 27th November 2015
A STRANGER is just a friend you haven’t met yet – or in some cases, a friend you haven’t heard.
8:30am Thursday 26th November 2015
WORK to electrify the railway into Oxford has been set back four years, throwing the redevelopment of the city’s station into doubt.
5:52pm Thursday 26th November 2015
A MAN wanted by police on recall to prison was last seen in Banbury and has links to Oxford.