Friday, May 30, 2008

I took all five of these photographs on a short walk from my house in Torquay to the Station the other day.

What struck me is the sheer scale of investment going on at the moment. Whatever your views about the various schemes there is no doubt that some long overdue money is at last being invested in both the private and the public infrastructure of the Bay.

And right across the Bay - the fish quay in Brixham, the business park, the Casino, the new Travelodge, the Carey Arms development and round the seafront there is a feeling -long overdue- that Torbay is not 'in decline' but moving forwards with confidence.

When I first came here the general consensus amongst the political class was that we were in a long-term period of what council officers term 'managed decline' as the market for UK holidays slowed and the traditional family customers dried up.

This defeatest attitude was bad for residents and appalling for the local economy. Even if it's true that seaside bucket-and-spade holidays have gone out of fashion the idea that somehow the record millions of visitors pouring into Devon every year couldn't be attracted to choose Torbay as their resting place was clearly absurd.

And the long term indicators are that in fact UK holidaying is in for a resurgence. A combination of global climate change, fashion, security health and environmental concerns will mean a massive boost for staying in the UK come holiday time.

Torbay has it's best years to come, provided we are willing to make happen the improvements to the facilities locally and regionally to keep us up to date.

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