VOTE: Would you like to see a walk created from the Cowdray Ruins to Market Square?

A long wish list of improvements to Midhurst have been revealed after a questionnaire was sent out to homes in the town.

It was masterminded by members of Midhurst Town Council’s future role group who presented their findings this week in a bid to secure finance.

Among the suggestions were more tree-planting, a covered market, more visible policing, improvements to car parking, an old-town ‘pedestrian only’ area and the creation of a walk from the Cowdray Ruins to St Anne’s Hill and Market Square.

But members of the ‘future role’ group struggled to convince fellow members to make eleventh hour changes to their current budget so identified projects could go forward immediately.

They admitted they had only some 115 responses from surveys, but said these were similar to those gathered in 2006 when a major consultation exercise was carried out and they urged town councillors to view them as a ‘snapshot’ which backed up previous findings.

Vice chairman of the council John Quilter acknowledged their hard work but added: “The fundamental difficulty is it’s very difficult to gauge whether this is representative of the people of Midhurst. From the point of view of evaluating something we can take decision on I’d question it very significantly.” He said it was an interesting “first step” but there would need to be a “more rigorous questionnaire” on which to base any decisions.

Team leader Colin Hughes said his group had tried to “interpret the needs and aspirations of our community” and they should be reflected in the budget “instead of grasping things out of the air. He added: “We ought to see if we can knit something into our budget from this consultation.”

But chairman John Etherington said the items should be discussed in committees and taken forward in next year.

Town councillors allocated some £5,000 to the group.

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