Town officer who ‘loved Kenilworth’ leaves as part of restructure

Paul Garrison
Paul Garrison

Fears that Kenilworth’s promotion will suffer have been raised after the town development officer moved into a district-wide events team.

Paul Garrison had been based in Jubilee House for the last 18 months until Friday April 15, and was well respected by many people for his hard work in promoting Kenilworth’s events and independent businesses.

This guy really loved Kenilworth and his enthusiasm really shone through.

Cllr John Cooke (Con, St Johns)

He was responsible for events like Foodie Fortnight and promoting events such as the 750th anniversary of the Siege of Kenilworth and the Aviva Women’s Tour.

His move is part of a district council restructure which has already taken effect and also means the loss of dedicated managers, or town development officers, for Leamington and Warwick.

At Kenilworth Town Council’s last meeting, Cllr John Cooke (Con, St Johns), admitted he was initially sceptical of the need for a town centre manager, but said Paul’s work had convinced him otherwise.

He said: “This guy really loved Kenilworth and his enthusiasm really shone through.

“What we now need to do is to go forward and ensure the town still gets the service Paul gave it. We should write as a council to the deputy chief executive asking for a meeting as to how we can do that.

“Let’s be selfish - I’m not worried about Warwick or Leamington, I’m worried about Kenilworth.”

Paul will nominally still continue to promote Kenilworth while working in the team, and district council officers claim services will be unaffected.

A district council spokesperson said: “Warwick District Council has undertaken a review of the town centre management structure.

“Following this the decision was made that the events and business support function for Kenilworth, Leamington Spa and Warwick needed to be strengthened and given more resilience and flexibility.

“The new team will be meeting with the town centre partnerships and business partners in early May.”