Mayor Ros Jones said co-ordinated action with everyone who has a stake in the town centre was one of the options to make changes for the better.
“I’ve heard what people – community and businesses – have to say about the issues in the town centre and they have been listened to and always will be listened to,” she said.
“The nature of the town centre is changing. Our investment plans are about diversifying the offer in the town and enabling it to flourish and thrive. We all know that town centres face the real challenge of online shopping and we need to get more people to come into town and support local businesses. We know we need to tackle aggressive begging and drug taking and anti-social behaviour so people are not discouraged from coming into the town centre. I know this is an issue in other towns and cities too. I want us to be proud of our borough. We will ensure we achieve this by taking action together.”
Dan Fell, chief executive of Doncaster Chamber, added: “In a recent poll conducted by the Chamber and Doncaster Council, 93% of respondents stated that they believed Doncaster was a good or fair place to do business. Despite this, and the significant developments that we have seen in our economy over the last decade, Doncaster’s town centre still faces many deep seated challenges that a range of partner organisations and businesses need to work together to address.
“Town centre businesses are rightly distressed by anti-social behaviour as, in many cases, it is beginning to threaten the very viability of their enterprises and livelihoods; the chamber therefore welcomes the commitment from South Yorkshire Police and the council to re-double efforts in this area and to tackle the root causes behind it. We need robust debate and actions on these issues but it is incumbent on all stakeholders – including the public, businesses and media – to talk about these issues responsibly and for us also to remember that our town centre has some fantastic assets which we can talk up and promote.
“The recent Culture Crawl – organised by the private sector with support from the council – shows just what an animated and welcoming place our town centre can be; we therefore welcome the aspiration to deliver more events of this nature in tandem with the aspiration to ramp up a holistic plan to tackle anti-social behaviour and its causes.”