Confidence. That elusive term that everyone seems to bang on about.
Business confidence is at an all time low. Consumer confidence is not returning to the high street.
But what exactly is it? Is it a sudden mood swing that affects the nation? Is it something that can be generated by our leaders, or is it something more personal than that?
It is my opinion that the whole of Grantham is suffering from a crisis of confidence, and this isn’t a recent occurrence.
Since I was a teenager I can remember kids complaining of ‘nowhere to go’, I can remember moans and groans about how Grantham is a ‘dive’ and full of ‘chavs’.
If you move past these comments and find out what is motivating them to say it, there is a pride in the town but an underlying frustration that it doesn’t seem to be achieving its potential.
This lack of confidence stems from a perception that the town has not moved fast enough to develop itself. For that, I can see their point. I can see a Market Place revamp that was 11 years in the planning. I can see 20 years of playing with the road network to establish that there is simply too much traffic going through town.
I can see procrastination on the part of the Economic Development team with two masterplans, a core strategy and a Grantham Area Action Plan.
When confidence is low, you are told about plans for the town and you shrug your shoulders, because you have heard it all before. So by pointing out everything that has been done or going to be done does not raise confidence, it is simply self serving. A self congratulating stance does not help anyone.
Confidence is only raised by results. If you say you want a bypass, secure the funding for a bypass. If you want to attract businesses to town, then attract them. Only then will the people of Grantham speak highly of what is being done.
by David Burling