You might as well be optimistic. What’s the point of imagining a dismal future? Where will it get you? There’s every reason to set your sights high, and start making plans for good things and positive outcomes. It’s what gives us energy, and motivates us to get up off the sofa and do something. Anything is better than nothing.
I don’t tend to listen too hard to those people who are always down in the mouth, offering criticism when anything ambitious or exciting gets suggested, who say – we did that years ago, it didn’t work... What a downer.
As Steven Covey in his fantastic book The Seven Habits of Highly Successful People urges, always begin with the end in mind.
So what have people got in mind for Ledbury’s future? What’s our vision for the next ten years? What do we want to build as our legacy to the next generation? Which things would make life better for most people?
It’s a personal choice, but here’s mine (in no particular order of importance):
- An upgraded railway line and station that compares with the standards you see in London and other UK cities.
- New housing of various sizes, shapes and configurations. Some small apartments. Some bigger places for growing families. Lots that’s affordable. Buildings that are architecturally distinguished and energy efficient. Places that bring people together and create strong community bonds.
- A buzzing town centre with a colourful year round programme of events – festivals, shows, parades, small one-offs and regular fixtures. Bring it alive.
- Positive values imbue everything that we do: tolerance, generosity, friendliness. It costs nothing, but changes everything.
- Attracting business investment to create good, skilled jobs. Ledbury should be aiming to hang on to its brightest and most energetic young people. We should be racing for the top, setting our sights sky high. It’s not a fancy.
- A vibrant civic culture where the entire community feels valued by decision-makers on Town and County Councils, and participates enthusiastically in shaping our future. There has to be a change of mood at the top.
Call me an idealist, but are these really too much to ask for?