It’s official, the big man said it. The Governor of The Bank of England has told us we are definitely heading into recession.

Well, ti’s about time it was made official.The media has been full of little else for months now and it was all getting a bit depressing to be honest. Now it is official we can all stop panicking because historically, once the government has owned up to something, it’s generally a month or more too late.

We have been feeling the effects everywhere in Weston. There is a growing number of empty units that is stretching to all parts of the retail spectrum, from high end luxury goods to essential foodstuffs. Empty units in shopping centres are like beggars on the streets; you can ignore them but you know you’ll think twice about walking that way next time.

Units could be filled with advertising for those shops that are suffering from low advertising budgets or could be used as display windows for other retailers. Either way, some positive image must be promoted through those empty units rather than just empty shops and offices. Empty units portray a decline and turn people off from visiting the area.

In the past, Weston grew out of industry. Part of that growth was through local factories that became specialised and started to cater for a shrinking client base, such as Westlands Helicopters. Once that client cut back or changed supplier, they closed the factories and the people who had moved families, raised families and retired here because of those factories were left with no future. That cannot be allowed to happen again. The businesses that grew to support and trade with those factories were also left to rot. We must learn from the past or resign ourselves to repeat it for eternity.

There is hope for the town, in the form of new developments and positive moves to bring more trade back to the area. Old unused land is being redeveloped for a high tech business park. The local authority has decided that no houses can be built on the land until there are jobs to support the house inhabitants. That will mean less commuting out of town and more prospects for those who live here already but those rules will only apply for a limited time. So far only one name has signed up to relocated to the new park though and unless others follow suit the scheme is destined to failure.

Our local team must pull out all the stops and draw some big names in before it is too late and all their efforts turn to nought. There a re a vast number, perhaps too many in fact, of groups dedicated to improving matters in our town but still there is only a small glimmer of light. Maybe these groups need to stop working separately and just sit around a table and get things done.

The future has some hope in the form of a number of already approved developments which will appear alongside those taking place already plus some new ideas that look to get the go ahead in the next few months. These plans seem to have funding , the essential oil that greases the wheel, so should be able to move along swiftly. They show great promise and , if they all go ahead as promised, will turn our prospects for the better but, as we all know, things can change from day to day so we can only watch and wait and give our support when and where it is needed.

Those who campaign to save the past, to keep Weston as it was and never will be again, are holding back any hope of a golden future for those who stand to follow them in order to satisfy there own selfish desire to never grow old.

We cannot let the past stop the future but without the past we have no future.

It’s a conundrum we must all strive to resolve.