THE new pavements in Fleet Street are half way finished.
Let's hope the three phase scheme, quoted at £2.5million, is worth the six months of chaos in our town centre and the small, private shops can stay in business for the next six months before the work is finished.
A year to replace paving slabs is not acceptable.
The new white slabs have only just been put down yet already they show the signs of trodden in chewing gum and dirt. Why the white pavement? Any mum or dad will tell you when washing clothes white is not the best colour to clean. It's a shame someone could not have thought of it a bit harder.
Over the last 30 years very few shops in our high streets were ever for sale freehold. Now many shops seem available with immediate vacancy. Charity shops and mobile phone shops seem to be everywhere. The high street was once a bustling area of shopping, but some days now it's very quiet and not just in Torquay.
A good idea I have seen is in Plymouth's Barbican. Many cafes now have areas screened off for live music. This should be an essential part of visiting a town centre especially if the council are going to use the words 'city centre rejuvenation'.
The council needs to create the space so young entrepreneurs can have a go. Don't penalise them, talk to them and help them.
And if what they do is successful, say well done... don't think of an extra table tax or chair tax.
Brixham is now becoming smarter, with better restaurants and live music. Once the poor relation of Torquay, the port seems to be quite go ahead with some smart little shops opening and cheap ferry prices.
Buy some nice fresh fish from the quay, visit the smart jewellers in Fore Street, have a nice lunch and be home by 2pm. What could be better?
Seriously, why can't we encourage this in Torquay? Big business in Torquay is not the answer... we are a nation of small shopkeepers with drive and enthusiasm.