BGT trumps AGM

PUBLISHED: 07:00 19 May 2012

Being somebody that lives and has a family in Budleigh, but spends a lot of time away with work, I feel I am part of a significant minority of people that have a certain perspective against which we can view our own town.

Having been away I really enjoy, sad as it may seem, catching up on the various goings on in the town by reading the Journal on a Thursday evening. However, I was saddened a little when I read the tiny byline in last week’s (today’s) Journal stating that only 13 people attended the Budleigh Town Council AGM.

To me this tiny article carries a much bigger message that I think the town has to be completely blind not to see. Either that or they are doing their very best ostrich impressions and burying their long necks right up to their broad shoulders in the Budleigh pebbles.

My point is this – the sheer fact that only eight people (the other five were council representatives) could muster the enthusiasm to drag themselves away from semi-final 28 of Britain’s Got Talent tells me that apathy for local politics in Budleigh is at an all-time high.

In a town of 4,000 people, where there is an ever growing and diversification of the population, including a community of students, younger families and professionals, it seems to me that the current “representatives” of the town are out of touch and irrelevant to a majority of the town’s residents.

Maybe a particularly good dance troop were featuring on BGT at the same time as the AGM – this may well have been the reason that the chairman gave for the low turnout for all I know – but the town council needs to take step back and look at what is best for the future of Budleigh Salterton.

Whether they like it or not, progress is essential. Budleigh PLC needs to move with the times or become another withered, charity shop-ridden high street.

Maybe some new blood is required to represent the town’s interests? Someone who knows who Mary Portas is?

Bill Roper

1 Lansdowne Road

Budleigh Salterton

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