Barb's Wire with Cheltenham councillor Barbara Driver
I WOULD like to start this wire by saying what a great success the literature festival has been, it gets better every year.
The festival was the first to get started and I think it is still the best.
It has now become a favourite event for celebrities to get invited to even if they have not written a book.
Well done to Donna Renney and her team for getting to this point. It is sad that some of the running of the festival did not go as well and needs a little TLC in sorting out.
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In all the excitement both the organisers and the borough council should have taken more care to listen to local residents when a problem was reported.
I understand now the festivals are doing so well they wish to stand alone as a company but I do not agree that the council should give them £139,000 of tax payer's money to help them set up an ICT unit. That money could be spent on other things which we are continually being told there is no money for.
Even though the council has helped with their ICT needs in kind over the years this hand out is different.
With all the changes being planned for the town centre it will good to get it all joined up and cleaned up, including the little passages leading to St Mary's as they become part of the churchyard revamp.
This will tie in with the next change for our town being considered which is to make the town centre more family friendly with no traffic going through Boots' Corner.
This change is to be welcomed but only if that really means no traffic, including buses.
To make the town centre family friendly means all are safe using it including children.
What would be good is some public art which children are able to climb on and enjoy in between being taken round the shops.
I have seen it work so well in other places where this idea is installed right in the middle of pedestrian shopping areas.
Free parking over a weekend in parking lots should also be considered.
With all the changes and rebuilding being planned for the town centre the whole family should be considered and catered for far more, then they might visit more often and stay longer.