Saturday, 28 February 2009

The One That Thinks That's A Really Good Idea . . .

One of the more easily indentifiable indicators of a recession is that businesses close down. That may come as a shock to you. We've seen Woolworths, MFI, Adams, Xavvi, Whittards and a number of other shops close for business, and it happened without the government pouring billions of pounds of our money into them.

It is a shame, but that's the world. Everything must come to an end, and for whatever reason these retailers have run their course. There is an opportunity here to turn this into a positive result. For years now we've been hearing about the indenti-kit High Street, from Perth to Penzance every High Street in the country is a carbon copy of the other, although rather than indentical shops selling identical goods, they're now indentical plateglass windows pasted with indentical whitewash.

I'd like to see some incentive for independent retailers to go in and take these premises on, a tax break or somesuch. Nobody likes to see shops empty and with their windows whitened out, and giving a local indie the chance to go in and get a crack of the whip, I think, just adds a bit of character to the High Street, and makes it a more interesting place to be.

Whilst I'd like to see the locals given a chance to regenerate their own local economy, give some training and skills to local workers with the proper chance to learn how to run a business, rather than relying on head office to do it all, what I don't want is for these local indies to be beholden to the local authorities. A new business is like a new fire, you need to start off with delicate twigs and leaves to get it going, chuck bloody great logs on it from the get-go and you'll just snuff the flame out. Unfortunately the public sector doesn't do delicate and subtle, it would only offer help with huge the logs of conditions regarding diversity training, targets, inspections and mountains of paperwork. They wouldn't stand a chance.

So, local authorities won't be doing anything to help get the money flowing around the High Street. Indeed the Local Government Association (I can feel the veins sticking out on my head already) has decided to do just the opposite, Al-Beeb reports that:

It is calling for new powers to allow town halls to temporarily use shops as sites for community projects.

Councils fear the derelict buildings could become hotspots for anti-social behaviour and cause further decline.

Oh, Jesus, here we go. . .

The LGA wants to make it easier and cheaper to use the premises for libraries, youth clubs, training centres and bring-and-buy sales.

Give me strength.

Bring and fucking buy sales? That'll have people tearing down the street, won't it? For crying out loud, what is wrong with these idiots? So you're going to spend huge amounts of taxpayers money to rent these premises, pay people to stand around in them and to go on community inclusion social diversity outreach courses, to be glorified open day exhibition stands.

Libraries? What? Do you not already have libraries? Or did you close it? And why did you close it? Because no-one was going in there. (Why that is, is a different story altogether)

Youth Clubs? Leave that to the communities, to the parents. On the High Street? You must be bloody barking. Then to train all the new people in child protection and blah blah blah, and then youth club kicks out at 8pm on a Friday night and it's on the Hight Street, next to the Yates' Wine Lodge? C'mon can't you see what is going to happen?

Training centres? What the fuck is a training centre? Oh, you mean like a school or college? Well surely you've already got them? Why do you need to open a centre to train people when they've already been to school and/or college? Is it because they don't learn anything of any bloody value whilst they're in there? So we have some nightmarish version of a training centre run by people like Pauline and her bloody pens from League of Gentlemen.

All that money spent and no tangible or economic benefit to the community at all. Still people persist in the opinion that Government has all the answers. They don't, it isn't a magic wand. Government cannot take over the personalities of those who work there. They are just as clueless, lazy and an incompetent as you and me, these qualities do not get magically washed away when they walk into the civic centre. Don't give me all that guff about excellence and blah blah blah, if they were that good, they'd be running a flourishing business, not opening bloody training centres telling people how to do it.

1 comment:

an ex-apprentice said...

"So you're going to spend huge amounts of taxpayers money to rent these premises"

Who said anything about rent?

They could do that now, without needing new "powers".