Is she up to the job?

Lacklustre and naïve. The first word describes the town centre manager’s review of 2013 in your paper last week. The second word is my summing up of her apparent disposition.

Reading between the hackneyed lines in her column last week I can only surmise that in effect the decline continues and worryingly she has no plan to affect a turnaround in the town centre’s fortunes. She is so desperate to paint a rosy picture that she quotes the depressing statistic that we have enjoyed a 1.6 per cent fall in the number of vacant premises in the town centre. I mean what does this equate to – half a shop didn’t get forced out of business despite exorbitant business rates and lack of support from local lickspittle non-elected power mongers. Where is the good news here? Am I missing something?

Don’t get me wrong, I am not questioning her commitment. But I have to question whether she has the vision and motivation to ensure the town centre (not Marshall’s Yard car park) gets top billing when it comes to any kind of event. Weasel words are fine; we read plenty of them from other regular contributors to your paper, but weakness and lack of direction will not do when it comes to securing the future of our treasured town centre and the struggling businesses therein. My 2013 report on the current Town Manager? Could do better!

Ian Hughes

(via email)