IT seems our local authorities are now doing their best with home working to carry on as many of their functions as “normal” during the crisis.

Many people are now realising that the old normal has gone and we are working out a new normal. People are trying new things and noting differences at home, in their work and in communities.

To call for a national unity government is perhaps a natural response but our problem is that we have become far too dependent upon a top-down, very centralised system. Now we are actually being asked to take responsibility for where we are and make it all work for us in Somerset.

The speed with which our economy is now unravelling (including the large house building corporations) does raise the question of how sound our current business model actually is, especially in a time of very low interest rates.

These large housing developments are the result of central government pressure on us to build at the rate of 1,000 houses a year.

But what Taunton needs is a substantial supply of social housing in or near the centre of Taunton that avoids the need for cars. Around 30% or more of the population need homes to rent not buy.

It is very difficult to see ahead at the best of times. What is clear is that life has changed for the majority of us.

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We still face the same needs for food and a roof over our heads and a job to pay for them. We now have the chance to take stock and indulge in creative thinking.

We do know that we need a healthy soil and balance of nature. This means not building on best and most versatile agricultural land near large towns. These acres are needed for food.

Leisure and tourism will change and Somerset has a large tourist offer. We must enhance our assets.

Given the limited range of choices available we must not further tie our hands for the future. We haven’t even worked out a basic transport system!

Kingston St Mary