Deputy leader’s comments: Mike Bell

Cllr Mike Bell.

Cllr Mike Bell. - Credit: Archant

A new year can be a time to reflect on times past, but it can also be a good place to look forward.

As North Somerset councillors, it is our job to help tackle the problems, make as few mistakes as possible and try to live up to the hopes and ambitions of local people.

As a Westonian, I look around our town and I certainly see plenty of challenges, particularly when I reflect on the changes that have happened in my lifetime.

However, for me, the biggest issue is to turn around our own mindset and transform Weston - and its image - into a place where people want to live, want to work and want to spend time.

The good news is that many people already do all these things, in their thousands, every day of the year.

Some of those people do so shouting proudly about it and our town.

Some do it and maybe don't feel so positive about the experience.

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And then there are the many others who neither feel positive about Weston nor play a part in our economic or social life.

For 2020 and beyond, our big task together is to fix the things that people do not like and get everyone feeling positive and proud of Weston - whether everything is perfect (and it never will be) or not - and whether they are locals or viewing us from elsewhere.

This year, North Somerset Council is determined to tackle more of the problems and particularly to get more life into our High Street and town centre.

We'll do our best, but we will also be honest about the things we cannot do, or cannot do alone.

But it is that positive vibe we need most, and every one of us can play a part.

Working together as a community, we can become more successful and a place that delivers positive futures for everyone.

It requires hard work, relationships founded on constructive feedback and a forward-looking approach.

Weston - probably the best town in the world. Why not?