Can’t help thinking that the latest coalition backed initiative on town centre regeneration, fronted by Mary Portas is little more than window dressing. Which is probably something Mary knows quite a bit about.
A whole page in yesterday’s Guardian with Mary sitting in front of what looks like a hastily pinned up wall of action/ideas/connections (just like the lady detectives do in the Bridge and The Killing). But really the picture is all about Mary and the length of her stilettos and fantastic Bauhaus haircut.
I sound cynical. I don’t want to be as our towns need investment and ideas by any means possible, but I am amazed we re taken in by this. Its great there is money but it really is peanuts, and pop-up shops, hanging baskets and town criers just wont cut it. I can’t help feeling we have been here before.
The problems are more strategic and deeply structural. It’s all about social economics and planning policies (which relies on investment to deliver them). We did get somewhere, particularly up here in the North West but I suspect that the presence of Portas and her limited cash suggests we need to put real regeneration on hold for a while or support and focus on the people who are really doing it…and there are few.
Well done to Stockport and Wolverhampton though…Good coverage.