Time to take action on dying town centre

TAKE a look around this town and ask yourself “Who wants this town to die?” because it’s it obvious someone does.

Is there money to be made if this town withers away to become a suburb of a town close by?

What is stopping the politicians from doing something about our town centre? Are they so devoid of ideas that they are just sitting and watching it die, or are their strings being pulled by others?

Let’s face it, a recession is a good time to attack a small town and manipulate it into a direction it would never choose to go.

Yes, times are difficult and people don’t have the money to spend, but it’s not an excuse to lay down and die. Do we have only fairweather politicians or people with some gusto to get things done?

So what can be done? First I would suggest we change the parking fees. In a time of recession it’s not all about making money, but a lot about still being there when the economy takes that turn.

I suggest that we do away with the one hour fee and charge £1 for the first two hours. One hour is too short, two hours for the coin in your pocket feels like a good deal.

Then we offer the empty shops free of charge to local businesses that have a resale side, that could be done just on a weekend basis or longer. If they then want to stay, the rent could be set at a percentage of profit. Should there still be empty units use them as advertising windows for the other businesses.

We have to liven up the town centre.

It looks like we are dying and just waiting for the funeral. I’ve said before that there are musical groups who would love the exposure.

They would perform for free, and there’s nothing better than lively music to get people moving, failing that a good PA system or local radio.

There are many ways to turn the town’s depressive face around, but we have to want to do it.

First we have to throw that stone into the pond, then the ripples of fortune will follow – but only if we want it that way.

Derrick Sole Colenzo Drive Andover

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