In recent times, lots of new businesses have opened up in Penarth from nice restaurants to specialist shops such as glass designers and many of the newcomers are small independent enterprise’s. What I believe needs to be done now is for these businesses to get together and adopt a marketing strategy as it’s a lot easier to promote products collectively than individually. I suggest that a common Town identity would be useful, someone suggested shopping bags with maybe the town coat of arms and business logos or maybe putting together packages such as linking, hotels, restaurants, leisure centres, transport companies and specialist traders so as to create a family break. I think if this were to happen, it would invigorate what is already a very nice place to work, live and visit.
The problems with living in small rural towns and villages are many and the challenges are great. Amongst the problems I’m aware of are lack of services such as shops, banks, petrol stations, pubs, public transport, doctors and decent affordable houses and jobs and I’m certain there are many other problems. In small communities like these such services are vital because they bring a sense of identity as well as making life that little bit easier. One way that might make a difference would be to set up town and village hubs, where the services I’ve mentioned and more could work together under one roof, sharing costs and expertise. I would argue that such hubs would not only help to restore such services but also give such towns and villages greater pride and identity. Obviously such a idea wouldn’t solve everything, but it could help.
Human beings are now, because of technology, more connected than ever before and I regularly have conversions with people fron all over the world as do many other people. So you would think that with all these global conversations going on, ignorance, intolerance, lack of empathy would decrease. Obviously this has not happened and we see an increase in intolerance in the form of Islamic State and to a lesser extent, the far right in places like the USA and parts of Europe. So I believe technology confirms long entrenched views and tribalism because technology is so easy to use, spreading such views further and faster than ever before partly because they are unchallenged and partly as they are not considered dangerous. As for the future, I can see more polarisation of views as many seem to want quick answers to very complex problems.
I joined the LibDems just after the last general election and I want to explain why. How many of you have been approached by representatives of all political parties promising that if you vote for them then hospital waiting times will be reduced, that there will be better schools and that your journey to work will be easier because of road improvements? well yes who wouldn’t want all of these things and more, it’s human nature to want them. But just think about this for a moment, all these things cost money, in some instances, a hell of a lot of money and where does the money for these laudable projects come from? The answer in the most part comes from government, my government, you government, our government with our money. So how does a government, any government get the increased money to pay for all these things? One way for a government to bring in more tax receipts to pay for public services is to increase the productivity of companies which will in turn generate more dosh. How can companies increase productivity? Well, one way would be link the subjects taught in schools, colleges and universities with the needs of businesses and industry. It’s a well known that this country cannot compete on costs as costs in other parts of the world are much lower, but the UK can compete in excellence, which in turn could bring in more money for the government to pay for public services.