THERE seems to be a lack of ability, direction, focus, long-term planning and common sense in the air these strange, mystifying days, which permeates governments national and local, as well as, in parts, the public.

Let me take for example a decision to pedestrianise St James Street, Hammet Street and East Street in Taunton. First it was going ahead, now it is not

Apparently, there are concerns from some retailers in St James Street that it would reduce footfall, a term used by the retail industry which means the number of customers that enter a shop, um, on foot. 

It strikes me as odd that retailers think having a pedestrianised St James Street reduces footfall.

If anything, St James Street is an excellent candidate for pedestrianisation. It’s narrow, there is no paved area for pedestrians. Those on foot are often absent-mindedly walking in the middle of the street, unaware vehicles share the same space. 

My train of thought is this; The more people walking in St James Street as an access point to the town centre from wherever they park their vehicles might be tempted into the same shops that expressed concerns of losing business due to pedestrianisation. 

READ MORE: Delays to plans to pedestrianise Taunton streets

Taunton High Street, Exeter, Plymouth, Weston-super-Mare, and countless major cities all have pedestrianised shopping areas and they are doing very well, thank you. 

Taunton Deane Borough Council (TDBC) desperately needs to do something to improve and attract people and commerce to the county town. 

Here’s a mixture of current problems with TDBC: 

Shall we talk about the old market site in Priory Bridge Road left derelict for the last 14 years? How about ignoring adequate provision for social housing on these new vast estates smothering the countryside, let alone affordable housing or even, God forbid, building new council houses?

Perhaps we should thank Tim Burton, our ‘go to’ person for housing (‘Get real’ Burton as he is known) for agreeing to quota reductions for social housing with new builds. 

We are heading for a Garden Town for the few. More like urban sprawl.

READ MORE: Plan to ban cars from three Taunton town centre streets 

Moving up the chain, to Somerset County Council, we have the A365 duelling and the Junction 25 fiasco

Even our MP, Rebecca Pow, made the mistake of excitedly praising her part in this, as well as anything else she feels like throwing in.

Time and time again we vote them in. 

Taunton Deane Borough Council, Somerset County Council and Rebecca Pow, despite their past record, except for Rebecca (can’t think of anything she has done). I’m sure someone will tell me.

All our local authorities seem incapable of injecting any dynamism. 

There is nothing so sad as to witness yet another artists impression in the Gazette of perfect looking matchstick people in a sketchy drawing of what a developer has conjured up and promised, but will never happen. 

As I’m on a role, I wasn’t going to mention about that God-awful Brexit because as sure as eggs are eggs, a Brexextremist will retaliate. 

Too late, I mentioned it. 

Strange times, and they will get stranger.

Monkton Heathfield