The birds chirp, the sun rises, on a cold crisp morning in Tamworth. As Councillor Thomas Jay current on rotation leader of the council (anyone else from the Tory group up next before May?) looks out from Marmion House, he sees the crane on the former co-op site, and feels inspired to write a Facebook post.

Then the sound of knuckles dragging their way virtually into TJ’s (we think he still might love us, he hasn’t said we can’t call him that) comments section and some random bloke pops in with his insights to crap on TJs day.

Adam Coffey, someone who has evidently missed out on the Internet revolution beyond joining Facebook, presumably does all of his shopping in the town centre, and never orders anything from Amazon or anywhere else online. He’s quite happy to perpetuate a common myth in Tamworth that somehow political parties of any colour could somehow be responsible for killing off the town centre. The fact that online shopping arrived in a big way and killed off high street behemoths that couldn’t keep up the pace against such competition apparently doesn’t come into it. Although Adam went to Woodhouse Business and Enterprise college, he evidently didn’t study the business side of things.

This type of comment naturally enriched by such creative use of emojis in Adams case, (just to show how clever he is we presume) is one of many to do the rounds whenever the town centre is mentioned. Along with ‘the council charge too much rent’, (they own a handful of the shops in the town centre, private Landlords own the rest), ‘the council charge too much in rates’ (the council don’t set business rates and they barely get to keep any of what they do collect). People also seem to think the Council can force private businesses to set up shop in an 76k population town that didn’t put its money where its mouth is and support local businesses. You don’t use it, you lose it. This is happening to towns of our size all over the country regardless of what party happens to be in charge.

We have success stories in Tamworth, such as spudman, who is celebrating his new trailer with a free spud promotion on the 27th January. His ambition and drive are exactly what this town needs to make a success of what we have, he hasn’t, (unlike many of our residents) focused on what we don’t have. He’s forged a successful business here and so could anyone with the right attitude. He’s managed all of this, and putting Tamworth on the map across the country, whilst dealing with challenging personal circumstances that would presumably make people like Adam give up before they got started. It’s possibly why Adam is single, as advertised on his Facebook profile for all to see, because he must be insufferable to deal with always being ‘right’.

Sometimes as grown reasonable adults, there are bitter pills to swallow. The town has changed along with the world. We are lucky that we have the shops we have in the town centre as it is, despite the inevitable decrease in footfall since Internet shopping. Unfortunately supposed ‘grown reasonable adults’ often find the need to blame someone else to make themselves feel better about their own actions. Some residents of Tamworth expect the town centre to be a bustling hive of independent shops and high street names from when they were young, we think it is in fact nostalgia for their youth they miss rather than the shops, all whilst happily and habitually popping items they need into an online basket.

Fact is, pretty much everyone shops online, it’s a convenience that we all enjoy. It has had the inevitable consequences and in a small town like ours it will never reach the same levels of activity enjoyed in the pre Internet era. It is in fact no-one’s fault in that context. Our town is becoming more of a leisure and residential area, and that’s fine, because those facilities would not be there if people did not use them, just like the card and mobile phone shops people complain about.

At least you can see evidence of the Council trying to put investment into the town centre and change things up a gear rather than just let it sit and rot. Too often things are talked about, lots of hand wringing happens and nothing ever gets done. We can see that things are indeed happening in our town centre and that change is being made, we as residents of the town need to suck it up and let go of the past that is never coming back.

On a side note, Boots is set to close in Ankerside on the 23rd of March. A big loss but hardly surprising, we are quite frankly amazed Boots is still going full stop, but it shows it can be done.

Now there’s something wrong with that post. We all know our not so local Troll Paul Brina Brindley (failed Councillor, failed business man, liar, hate pedlar, misinformation merchant) runs this page. Wouldn’t he normally be foaming at the mouth spitting his disgust at the Tory group and how they’re to blame for this travesty, and they’re not fit for role? We do wonder why he has restrained himself on this occasion.

[Note, we have updated this post with spudmans actual free spud day which hasn’t happened yet, and we put the wrong date for Boots closing despite it being right there in front of us. We will mercilessly flog ourselves for our mistakes.]

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