Monday, 16th December 2013

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Oh, happy days... The Town Centre Traders can sleep safe in their beds.

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I wonder how many people will jump out of bed some morning ' in the future' and say: "Oh I am so excited. We are going back down to Bangor. We just love their footpaths!" Or "let's drive to Bangor today and sit on those really stylish seats." or "We really must go down to Bangor it's just so full of character that I could wander around the streets all day!"

The Councillors have done an appalling job of trying to steer Bangor into the future. The bumble and stumble from one expensive failure after another. No one would believe that their Councillors were elected to look beyond next week, next month or next year as they are so myopic with their vision for Bangor.

The mockery of this Town Centre plan is the perfect example - just look around the UK and you will see this same 'industry standard' push for pink granite and stainless steel. Safe, characterless and yawn inspiring.

This is not unique, it is style, it is 'industry standard' and the style will be tiresome in 3 years and we will have spent 13£ million pounds and not have cured the real problems of Bangor. The sad reality is that by blighting Bangor and accepting this 'pay off' we have set 'in stone' a guaranteed mediocre future for our town centre. 

Councillors should have had the vision to build upon the Town's character not 'dress it up' and hope that it looks a little bit different than every other characterless town.

You can add character to streets, you can add character to street lamps, signs, footpaths, and a whole host of things. Sadly your Councillors are turning our town into the Milton Keyes of Ulster. Does anyone think we will ever get the big multinationals into the town centre? The answer to that is an emphatic - NO. So what is there that will draw people to Bangor? Pink granite and sails?

The people who complain about Bangor not having character are out-of-thi-world incorrect.  There is lots of hidden character places and features from the McKee Clock, The Tower House, McKeown? Fish Shop, The Various Banks, The Churches and on and on.... They need to be the starting point for building on character. Not the starting point for neon lights.

But no Councillor seems to be interested in enhancing the character of Bangor...... All the Councillors want to do is get this money spent, go to the press photo shoot and then tell the Town Centre Traders..... "Look how great we are, we have done our bit, if you are still struggling it is not our fault we spent £13 million on you!"

Sadly, the Chamber of Commerce put up the fight of a sheep with no teeth, if they put up a fight at all, and the community groups just bought the BS and caved into the shiny plans and the public were patronised, blinded and ignored.

I sometimes wonder if the only person with backbone is this town is the pastie supper lover. 

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