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Exiled Canadian

A Visit To The Annual Town Meeting

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I had the dubious honour of attending the annual town meeting for our small market town this week (I'm trying to work with a couple of others to improve our local playing field and so popped along to see what the town council had to say for itself).

It was interesting to hear what the predominantly retired audience (and councillors) had to say for themselves.

There was general concern that the shops in the high street are becoming more focussed on tourists and less on locals, and real concern that our last major clearing bank branch is moving onto reduced hours and may close. We were asked to write to said bank and other businesses urging them to stay open.

One possible HPC'er stood up and pointed out that the High Street was dying because house prices were forcing all the young families into the nearby cities. He asked how the council expected the banks and businesses to operate profitably in the town if the council kept blocking new developments that would provide family homes at less exorbitant prices.

He probably would have caused less tutting if he'd broken wind and then urinated in the corner. I was (unfortunately) unable to speak up in support as I thought I'd burnt my little political capital by pointing out that the council spent more on maintaining the graveyard than it did on the playing field and swings earlier on in proceedings.

Several people spoke out against this view with a broadly NIMBY overtones.

Interestingly in the pub afterwards there was broad support for the HPC position from some of the long term residents (who I guess are seeing their offspring priced out of the town). It seems to be the recent incomers who want to freeze the town in aspic and maintain the ludicrous house prices - unsurprisingly it's this demographic that seems to have a lock on the council.

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It's only the banks, land lords/owners who want high prices. Old people don't like change so they don't want house built near them, the concept frightens and the UK is FULL of old people.

I think many objections are because land prices being so high cause new developments to be cramped and shite.

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