Scarborough is in need of many things, but unfortunately, much is down to funding from the Government (and we all know where they prefer to hand out our cash to and it isn’t the British people!) However, here are my ideas for a better Scarborough, even though most will be unachievable for the reasons I have just stated.
We need more visible policing to help in the fight against crime and any anti-social behaviour. Scarborough is probably no better or worse than any other town of its size, but is likely to attract more negative comments on its crime rate because of its status as a leading resort. I do believe though that the situation isn’t helped by influxes of certain sections of society from other areas, many on benefits (I’m not saying that ALL benefit claimants have criminal tendencies, as I know for a fact that this is not the case!) Drug use is also a problem as is excessive alcohol consumption - not helped by lax licensing laws or the recent opening of a convenience store in the precinct selling alcohol until 11pm.
As a place to shop, Scarborough is truly grim, with the centre brimming with tat shops, pawn shops, charity shops, bookies and inferior versions of the usual high street chains. Plenty of empty shops at the moment too. I have read that the business rates are extortionate here, although I have no figures as to what they are, but I can imagine how any potential shop owner may be put off by them. This is something that the Scarborough Borough Council should look into, perhaps with a drastic rate reduction for the first year? I also think that there are far too many pizza/kebab/burger places, although they are not exactly in the town centre, they are pretty close, and do not add anything to the town.
“Chuggers” should be banned altogether, they are a nuisance and we shouldn’t have to be dodging their “demented windmill” arm waving when trying to go about our business! Same goes for the beggars we sometimes see, usually accompanied by lethargic dogs, they should be cleared from the town centre. And whilst I don’t usually mind buskers, I think that some of them are truly over loud, and I’ve certainly heard some workers in nearby shops complaining. They should be dealt with, told to turn the volume down or be moved on.
There is talk of culling the gulls, however, I do not agree with this, although I think that anyone feeding them should face a hefty fine, as in some continental coastal towns and cities. I do though think that there should be a thorough cull of feral pigeons for the damage they do to buildings, the diseases that they spread and because they take food from smaller genuinely wild birds. Again, a hefty fine for anybody feeding these flying rats!
We need a council that listens to the residents, although that is down to the people who vote for them.
There should be a regular, possibly weekly, outdoor market, perhaps where the Continental one used to be sited. Local traders selling local produce should be invited to have stalls and sell good, fresh produce - fish, meat, fruit and veg and maybe bread (NO fancy goods, gifts or other tat). I think that the Market Hall is in the wrong place, too out of the way, a centrally located market would bring in the visitors and be popular with residents also. And whilst we are on the subject of markets, it is to be hoped that the gruesome spectacle we were saddled with last Christmas and New Year does not make another appearance.
A good public transport system would also help, the current bus “service” is nothing short of pathetic. A holiday resort which has most of its buses not running on a Sunday, Bank Holiday or after about 6pm is seriously lacking.
All should be responsible for keeping the town clean and tidy, from the council’s cleansing department (who should ensure that rubbish is not left lying around, often in plastic bags which can be torn and contents scattered by scavenging gulls etc) to all us residents, and visitors, who should bin our litter and clean up after our dogs.
West Park Terrace