Having just spent a week in South Wales, as well as the beautiful coastline and scenery, there is one big thing I have taken away with me.
Every town, big and small, works together to make theirs a destination, whether for a day, a week or throughout the year.
It is as if they have a team made up of local businesses, retailers and residents, working together to achieve a full town cohesive approach.
A team that has nothing to do with politics, campaigning against something, organising specific events, planning, helping certain sections of the community – all very important organisations that we have many of in Mirfield – but a team whose focus is about joined-up positive celebration, and putting their town first.
To give you an example… On Sunday August 17 it is one of the biggest days in the events calendar of our own town, Mirfield Show.
Thousands of visitors will pass through the town whether locally or from out of the area, and what a brilliant opportunity for the town centre to join in, put up the bunting, throw open their doors, and introduce themselves to potential new customers, have a good days trading – and look like one great town where everyone is working together to attract more visitors.
We often make excuses in Mirfield – for example saying it suffers from having a main road through the middle of it.
I’ve met some shopkeepers who said it was their biggest asset, and their challenge was to make this transient traffic want to stop for an hour or two.
This is not a criticism of Mirfield as there are so many great things to see, do and enjoy here – but a question of how we can, as a community, bring together a team for the town, to celebrate together, to make something bigger than its individual parts, and to put Mirfield first in the minds of councillors, businesses, organisations, residents and potential new visitors.