As it has been for so many others, I have found, particularly the third Lockdown, difficult. However, like many people, it has afforded me the opportunity to get more involved in my local community. Struck by the intense debate about our town centre, I decided to put my skills to use and interview as many local stakeholders as I could to help our community decide if we really do have something to worry about - and if so, what we should do about it.
In the course of the project, I’ve interviewed people from across the political spectrum, spoken to many of our amazing local business people and tapped into some of the deep expertise we have in our community - which has included an Emeritus Professor of Social & Economic Geography!
What I found is a town that is rightly proud of its history and what it is today - but also, I believe, rightly concerned about its future, and rightly fearful of complacency in the face of some very significant changes that we face, and more that are coming our way.
The project has been exhilarating - to discover such a vault of good will, resilience and optimism despite the extraordinary times we live in and the huge challenges we face, has been hugely life affirming.