Something Better Change

Bridgwater is an amazing place to live and work in, the industry is booming, the future looks great, and the town has the most progressive council in Somerset.

So, admittedly we’ve been interviewing people for jobs all week and got a lot of this from the candidates. But actually, I think it’s true.

However, also this week I had to take a school group of 7- to 9-year-olds on a tour of the town…. would I get the same response?

You (and I) will be pleased to know that actually I did. Not only were the kids really excited about Bridgwater’s history, re-enacting scenes in the castle dungeons under the Art Centre (and asking me to turn the lights out -much to their teachers near panic) , they asked so many enquiring questions and came up with such a lot of great ideas for the future inspired by what they saw (what to do with the docks, what we should put in kids play areas) but they were nice, polite and enthusiastic. What a positive hope for the future.

Is the town centre becoming a no go area? This man has been superglued to a shop window.

And then at the end of the week I had my brother and sister come over from Belfast and wanted to show them in a similarly enthusiastic way what Bridgwater had to offer. But if you walk through town at 8am, what do you see first? Sadly, people waking up from sleeping in doorways of empty shops with the town centre as their common room and increasing numbers of townsfolk decidedly unimpressed by the situation as they wend their way past them on their way to work. Whilst in recent Belfast history enthusiastic organised groups of dedicated citizen volunteers might have helpfully solved the situation in their own way, this daily scene is now a norm in pretty much every street of every town in mainland UK.

I thought and hoped to myself that by the time the kids from Stogursey Primary School have grown up this will have to be consigned to the scrapheap of history and filed under ‘bad things that happened once but we sorted out’  or otherwise I doubt we would be able to seriously consider ourselves a civilised and compassionate country anymore.

Something better change.

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