Where did you play when you were a child?
For me it was the orchards and hop farms of the Kent countryside. I still get a tingle of nostalgia for the Oast Houses and woodlands, and the rolling curve of the North Downs.
However, with the march of progress came the out of town retail parks. Meadows were replaced by oversized corner shops selling oversized furniture to oversized people.
It is a story that many of us are familiar with, and in our beloved town of Hebden Bridge the fight against the might of the corporation has been taken up on more than one occasion.
“The Bridge” now faces a different financial spectre. The new digital economy is something that is eroding high streets all over the country. It makes the same promises of affordability, convenience and choice, just as they were made in the past. However, unlike the corporates of old, there is no presence, there is nothing to protest against; so we must take a different approach.
A “local mindset” is protection against a flood of global digital commerce.
Over the next twelve months I will be talking to local business owners about how we can educate ourselves about keeping local businesses going. I will be mapping the business connections in the area and identifying opportunities, that we all have, to make sure that our little town remains as vibrant as ever.
It is one thing to manage a disaster, the task we are all now charged with is to avert one.