'Cinderella town' tag back as youth jobless totals climb (January 23, 2011)
THE news that one-in-five young people aged 16-to-24-years-old is jobless has
come as no surprise to a campaigner who now believes that
his community is once again a 'Cinderella' town.
"History is repeating itself once agin in Warminster," says former Liberal council group leader Paul Macdonald.
"The difference this time is that we have both disadvantages and
the chance to take the town forward to deal with the challenges."
Paul was on the district council when the town had the highest unemployment rate in the county.
There were two major issues. The blighted Crusader Park and then the application by Center Parcs to build at Longleat.
"I am proud that after a huge amount of lobbying we had a working
group that gave us the business park on the edge of the town and my
leading the planning committee to support the Center Parcs application."
Since then the town lost its job centre (joining its courts which
dealt with the problems that go with the bad behaviour of those
youngesters who are unemployed).
"I have spoken to our MP Andrew Murrison about our next
opportunity. The military have land on another edge of the town that is
vital as our next skilled employment site."
The visionforwarminster website which Paul co-authors with Steve
Dancey who served on Wiltshire County Council economy committee at the
same time was the first to announce that the former REME site off Imber
Road is under review.
"We need to start holding a series of important meetings in our town as we are definitely at a cross-roads," claims Paul.
"Every important military,municipal,and local authority at the
moment is facing the challenge of accounting for the money they spend.
"I believe the time is now right to organise a series of conferences to bring every one together.
"I will write next week to ask the MP to champion and maybe chair this initiative and ask for his views!"
Steve Dancey added: ''We have 1,500 at our local seconmdary school - but what will they all do when they leave education?
''Few will stay in Warminster as the sad fact is, that like Ireland, our biggest export is our most gifted young people.
''Do policymakers even care that we don't provide a future here for our young - probably not as they seem content for it to turn into even more of a retirement town.''
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