New Challenge for Northampton
Everyone, even the greatest of sceptics or cynics now recognise that the country is facing at least 10 years of austerity and cuts to balance the books.
The problem is do we all head for the bunker and hibernate in the hope it will go away or at the very least not impact us or do we take steps to deal with the situation?
There is no doubt that with the proposed regeneration and development projects in Northampton from the Town Centre to Saints, from the SEMLEP Enterprise Zone to hopefully the development of Sixfields, the future is very bright even whilst the economic crisis across Europe is continuing increasingly it seems to rage out of control.
The new challenge for Northampton is not the infrastructure development and regeneration; it is how to balance the need to support these projects with the social consequences of balancing the books.
A new invigorated town with ‘cranes on the skyline’,with thousands of new homes bringing an increased population rising over the next 15 years to over 300,000 will fail unless the necessary consideration is given to meeting and delivering the needs of the people from the protection of the vulnerable and elderly to providing the education to young people of a standard and quality to prepare them for the future employment opportunities that regeneration will bring.
People will only be encouraged to come to Northampton or to stay here if they feel there is a future for them and their family, that they will have employment, security, homes and an environment that encourages involvement in the town and community.
This is the new challenge for Northampton and its leaders at all levels not only political but community, business and legislative.
It is a challenge that given the economic chaos with which we are all faced needs to be taken up immediately.
The challenge is out there – how leaders deal with it is how they will be judged.