THE chairman of Worcester's Green Party has spoken of his delight over a city centre campaign getting recognition in parliament - saying he will continue to push it.

Louis Stephen, who wants more upper shop floors to be turned into flats, says he wants more talks with Worcester City Council over a breakthrough.

As your Worcester News revealed two weeks ago, Communities Minister Marcus Jones has voiced his support for the 'Living Over the Shop' (LOTS) campaign, saying it could inject more life into retail areas.

Mr Stephen wants to help set up a not-for-profit company that will work with the council, housing associations, developers and land owners to convert more space above retailers.

He has already had several meetings with city council officers over the campaign, which also has support from Worcester MP Robin Walker.

He said: "With the Government minister's intervention and with the new council leader, Councillor Marc Bayliss's recent comments that he wants to work with all political parties we may have broken the log jam.

"I repeat my offer made back last October that I would like to give a briefing to the rest of cabinet and then for us all to roll up our sleeves to get on with the project."

He added: "I'm really pleased that Robin Walker has taken this forward and whatever the results of the local elections in May I aim to work with all parties to make this happen in Worcester."

The idea of taking the campaign forward has already been given cautious backing by Councillor Mike Johnson, the city council's cabinet member responsible for retail, and the Mayor Councillor Roger Knight.

Mr Jones, who was appointed to his role by Mr Cameron's to help reinvigorate high streets, has insisted the Government "cannot and will not rest on its laurels" to come up with new ideas.

On a new policy based around encouraging more upper shop floors to be converted into flats, he said: "I strongly believe we have reached a crossroads for high streets and town centres - we need to act to make them fit for purpose for today's consumer.

"My vision is for high streets to be vibrant and viable places where people live, shop, use services and spend their leisure time during the day and in the evening."

He told the Commons the LOTS campaign was something he is "looking into currently".

The barriers cited by some retailers include the costs of converting upper floors, such as creating disabled access, and bin storage.

But backers of LOTS say it will help revive central shopping areas and could potentially ease congestion by taking many people much closer to their work.

* Let's get more flats above shops, says Government minister as he backs Worcester's campaign to help the High Street