Coun Tony Dobson

Con­ser­va­tive group leader

Accrington Observer - - YOUR VIEWS -

AS I look back over 2018 but pos­i­tively to 2019 I’m think­ing of those res­i­dents in the bor­ough who have suf­fered from car crime, bur­glar­ies, stone theft, an­ti­so­cial be­hav­iour to name just a few and feel frus­trated that the crim­i­nal jus­tice sys­tem does not work bet­ter for our com­mu­ni­ties.

As a coun­cil­lor I see at first hand the frus­tra­tions of res­i­dents, busi­ness peo­ple and the po­lice at the tread­mill of crime that is per­pe­trated by peo­ple who do not care about their neigh­bour or re­spect the trust that com­mu­ni­ties hand to all of us as in­di­vid­u­als. Is it now time to per­ma­nently tag these in­di­vid­u­als with satel­lite nav­i­ga­tion de­vices so that we know ex­actly where they are and what they’re do­ing? Should they lose some of their free­doms un­til they can be trusted to be that re­spectable neigh­bour?

Is it beyond us as a so­ci­ety to come up with a so­lu­tion to re­duc­ing the amount of petty crime that in­volves heartache for res­i­dents, cost to the tax­payer and this tread­mill of crime which means that po­lice of­fi­cers are con­stantly re­cy­cling the same faces time and time again?

Search­ing for clues as to who has burgled the house or stolen a car could be so much eas­ier us­ing tech­nol­ogy and ac­knowl­edg­ing that, if you’re not pre­pared to play by so­ci­eties rules, then we will treat you dif­fer­ent.

My hope would be that the penny will fi­nally drop with these in­di­vid­u­als that crime doesn’t pay and won’t pay. I don’t want you to think that my col­umn this week is very nega­tive for the time of year.

I ac­tu­ally look at it in a pos­i­tive way and that is if we as a so­ci­ety have had a enough of crime, the state of the town cen­tre etc. it is up to all of us to call for change.

There is no third-party wait­ing in the clouds to solve or stop us from mak­ing those changes. We just need to have the drive and the am­bi­tion to come up with in­ven­tive, mod­ern, fo­cussed so­lu­tions for to­day’s so­ci­ety and com­mu­ni­ties. Well Christ­mas is al­most upon us and we are all prob­a­bly think­ing about presents for fam­ily and friends.

Christ­mas is also an im­por­tant time of the year for lo­cal busi­nesses.

Vis­it­ing Ac­cring­ton town cen­tre on al­most a daily ba­sis and talk­ing to lots of small pri­vate re­tail­ers, I know that this Christ­mas is go­ing to be ab­so­lutely key for their sur­vival in 2019 and I am con­cerned that a num­ber of busi­nesses will fold un­less we go out and sup­port them. A num­ber of these busi­nesses ei­ther pay very lit­tle rent or own their premises and are cur­rently get­ting a rates free pack­age due to a gov­ern­ment ini­tia­tive.

But what they all say is that there is a lack of trade and a lack of peo­ple vis­it­ing Ac­cring­ton town cen­tre. When I speak to res­i­dents I know you are con­cerned by the amount of empty shops and char­ity shops in town but this Christ­mas I ask you to turn a blind eye to the empty shops and fo­cus on those busi­nesses who gave fan­tas­tic ser­vice and have some won­der­ful unique prod­ucts

Please con­cen­trate on the shops that are open, not the ones that are closed. So my plea to you is please do as much Christ­mas shop­ping in Ac­cring­ton town cen­tre as pos­si­ble,.

This Christ­mas think ‘shop Hyn­d­burn first’ so that in Jan­uary 2019 we can all hold our heads up high and say that we have helped to stop our town cen­tre de­te­ri­o­rat­ing fur­ther.

Fi­nally, I would just like to take this op­por­tu­nity on be­half of my­self and the Con­ser­va­tive group at Hyn­d­burn to wish you and your fam­ily the very best for 2019. PRINTED AND DIS­TRIB­UTED BY PRESSREADER PressReader.com +1 604 278 4604 ORIG­I­NAL COPY . ORIG­I­NAL COPY . ORIG­I­NAL COPY . ORIG­I­NAL COPY . ORIG­I­NAL COPY . ORIG­I­NAL COPY COPY­RIGHT AND PRO­TECTED BY AP­PLI­CA­BLE LAW

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