THE real work starts here and we can’t shy away from the challenge ahead.
That’s the message from Christine Starmer, the woman elected to lead Dewsbury’s Town Team.
Her appointment as the group’s first chairwoman marks a milestone for the group of volunteers who share a passion for the turning the town around.
Ms Starmer said: “I moved to Dewsbury 22 years ago and met my partner at the Arts Group. Our children were born in Dewbury, and both went to local schools.
“The opportunity to do something about the town and how run-down it is was very appealing.”
The 56-year-old from Northfields was among the first to answer the call to help change the town and contribute ideas to the Strategic Development Framework, a 25-year plan published in November 2010.
“The opportunities that were being talked about were really good, but they only really give us an image of what we could do,” she said.
“There’s such a huge difference between that and the practicality of making that happen.”
Since then she has been an active member of the Town Team set up to champion the vision for Dewsbury, leading talks about its constitution and aims.
“It’s been very clear we’d be stopped from doing anything until we got a constitution in place,” she said.
“I’m really pleased we’ve got to that point because that’s the thing that allowed us to go for some funding from Kirklees.
“We’re not going to be able to instantly turn things around over night but we’ve got the organisation on a really strong footing. All we can do now is make a start.”
l See next week’s paper for our report on the Town Team’s first projects.