Coun Tony Dobson
Conservative group leader
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