HAVING just had a great night in Vivary Park reliving part of my youth, I have to say what a great event all those involved with St Margaret’s Hospice have put on for the residents and visitors to Taunton.

It definitely brought people to Taunton who have shared their views with me that Taunton is much better than they remember it and what a nice town we have.

The more events we can have like this, and the ones previously held at the cricket ground, the more we put ourselves on the map and in the minds of people who might otherwise not venture here.

On the subject of cricket and the economy, many people I have spoken to have noticed the number of people coming into town on days when we have both one-day and four-day matches.

I look forward to the introduction of international matches at the Cooper Associates County Ground, which are on the cards for the future, as this can only help local trade.

Also on a brighter note, we seem to have had a significantly bigger number of tourists from abroad over the summer.

Whether this is due to the weakness of the pound against the Euro and the Dollar, I don’t know, but it has been an improvement on last year.

One major concern I have, as far as the town centre goes, is who is likely to occupy the former British Home Stores site.

I just hope we get some major retailers, of which there are many without a presence in Taunton, the county town of Somerset of course.

I think it is key for any agents with influence and the local authority to go out and chase some quality retailers.

This would give more choice and encourage people to come here to shop.

We now have an abundance of eating and drinking establishments but need to enhance that by giving reasons to come and shop here.