Tedd Talks

Live Magazines’ Tedd Walmsley asks the council for clarity on behalf of Ribble Valley residents and businesses, urges everyone to get a booster and wishes readers a healthy and happy New Year

Let me start by wishing everyone a happy healthy and prosperous New Year. I’m writing this article on print deadline – 14th December – I tell you this as I’m hoping and praying that we’ve all been able to enjoy our family Christmases and our local businesses continued to trade strongly in the run up to the big day. Scaremongering and fake news combined with pure speculation hadn’t helped the cause – have you had your booster?

I must start with an apology. I’d hoped to bring you a double page spread interview with the leader of RVBC Stephen Atkinson. Sadly, we had an email from the council’s Principal Communications Officer citing ‘governance reasons’ for their decision not to be involved. In my view, this is utter baloney. We deserve the insight and vision as to what lies ahead for Ribble Valley in 2022. We pay our taxes and rates and expect in return, honesty, clarity and a host of positivity in order for us to ‘build back better’. I can’t think of a better platform than an article in Live Ribble Valley to send out much-needed positivity to both the residents and businesses alike, who call the Ribble Valley home.

I am also told from a very tenacious business owner, that RVBC had awarded the consultancy contract for ‘Save the High Street’ to a Birmingham-based company. If this is correct, I would have asked our council leader:

• Was this put out to tender and if so, which local companies pitched for the business?
• What are the credentials of this consultancy and what local knowledge of the area do they have?
• Did the work need to be outsourced at all – could the officers not partner up with other local stakeholders and have done a better job to save money?
• What are the timeframes for this?
• Is it correct that the initial funding was underspent by more than £30k?

As we go to print, I’ve just been told that all December council meetings have been cancelled due to Covid. If fear or governance prevent face-to-face meetings, surely key decisions about 2022 can’t be put on hold or postponed until late January? What has happened to Team or Zoom meetings? Concrete decisions need to be made before it’s too late.

One such decision is the Clitheroe Food Festival (CFF). I’m currently working on a project with the Royal Lancashire Show and we are talking to potential sponsors and stall-holders, who are signing up as they are planning budgets for 2022. Imagine if the yet-to-be appointed CFF team don’t start conversations until spring. I believe the council intend to yet again outsource the organisation of this event. So here’s my scenario: contact made in March – budgets already spent – RVBC don’t want to underwrite the event = event cancelled. Blame Covid! Sounds farcical but probably true?

Have you made any New Year’s resolutions? I have but I won’t bore you with my personal goals. However, on a professional footing, I intend to ask the questions of RVBC that you want answers to.

Let’s also be kinder to each other along the way as I fear there are some rocky times ahead for businesses so I implore you to support our local economy – it needs it!

The views above are my own and I’d be delighted to get some replies to my questions and will report back on any progress and positive outcomes.




Tedd Walmsley

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Tedd Walmsley managing director of Live Magazines shares his views on the latest topics in media.

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