I may have an exciting vision for our town centre, developed from my thoughts and ideas and those of residents I speak to, but unless elected there is nothing I can do to make a change. Yes, some of you may be thinking - what am I talking about, the current Mayor is already all over this. But let me please remind you. We have had almost 14 years of him and now in the lead-up to the election isn't it suddenly amazing that these different jobs/projects are getting done now? It seems he is holding nothing back with the amount of spending he is doing right now. This is shameless.
Why could this investment not have been made as it was needed rather than backloading for an election year? Does he really credit you, his residents, for not having the sense to recognise what he is doing? Does he also think that he can continually imply that he has fully funded many great projects in Bedford when, in my opinion, really it has been Central Government funding that has helped these projects to happen?
If I was the Mayor of Bedford I would be looking at a new shape for the future of our high street. One that includes a new mix of retail, leisure and residential.
I would look at providing a far better service for our residents. Bringing the charter market back to life; introducing smaller, more affordable office spaces; working with chains and independents to offer a wide range of retail; consistently keeping our centre clean and tidy; holding a complete review of car parking charges in multi-storey car parks and looking to see what we can offer to encourage new businesses to Bedford. There is so much opportunity for our town - we just need someone new to take control and lead the change.
It really does feel like visitors are being driven out right now. This is not good for those businesses that are still in town, and it isn't good for that traditional community feel - one of the reasons many of us fell in love with Bedford for.