The Officialish Twickerati Christmas Message

HOW WAS IT FOR YOU?
Not to be confused with the ‘unofficial’ twickerati Christmas message, this the official one. What’s the difference you ask. Well this one is the boring one and the other one… well, the other one hasn’t been written yet.

So what of 2010? We hope it’s been good to you. Has it been nang or meh? In netspeak, have you LOL’d or has 2010 been an EPIC FAIL. It’s certainly been a big year in the real Twickenham as well as the virtual one. The Tories took control of Richmond Council after a stint of Liberal Democrat rule, Twickenham MP Vince Cable has ended up as one of the most high profile figures in the coalition government, the plans for Twickenham station have focused people’s minds on what kind of developments are right for the town and, as for the swimming pool site, well that looks pretty much the same as it did a year ago. Meanwhile, businesses have opened, others have closed, and some, like Shhhakes milkshake bar, have even managed to do both.

But has it been a year in which your attitudes towards Twickenham have changed? The Tories talked about getting involved in the Big Society, the Lib Dems are now saying that’s something akin to good ol’ fashioned liberalism and even Brand New Old Labour are cooking up with their own version of the same thing. So do you feel a greater need or sense of responsibility for having your say in how your town is run? Are you even prepared to dabble in service provision or is that why we elect local Councillors and have a bunch of people working for LBRuT? With less money available to councils over the next few years we may be forced to consider these choices a little more closely – to get involved or to say goodbye to some services. This is not a party political broadcast for the Conservatives, on the contrary it’s just an unfortunate but very real possibility when funding is being cut and tough choices need to be made.

However, this need not be all bad news. OK, so it is mostly bad news but long before people began fretting over whether Big Society was just a cover story for Conservative cuts they were agonising over the demise of “community” in our towns and cities. But for every example of “broken Britain” trotted out by certain sections of the press there were always examples to be found of volunteer groups, charities and other organisations doing great things in their local areas. There still are. The recession may have raised the awareness of this shifting zone where state provision ends and people take over, but it didn’t create it.

At twickerati we don’t claim to have done much for Twickenham other than write about some of the stuff that’s going on and take some pictures, but if that helps to raise awareness of local shops and businesses, local issues and local events then that’s great. One thing that wandering the mean streets of ‘Nam (we’re talkin’ Twickernam) has illustrated is that many people in this town care deeply about it and not just about the ‘now’ but about how it will be in 10 or 25 years time. Sometimes all the different interest groups and societies in Twickenham can seem like the “People’s Front of Judea” scene in The Life of Brian but they all share a common goal of wanting to make Twickenham an even better place to live and work. So good luck to them, where would we be if apathy took their place? Ranting aimlessly from behind a keyboard probably, but let’s not go there.

Which leads nicely on to a big thank you to all of you who have visited this site over the last 8 months and best wishes for a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. We hope that 2011 is a good ‘un and that you continue to visit twickerati and, more importantly, that you continue to take an active interest in your town.

Right… that’s enough of the serious stuff. It’s the Christmas Winterval which means it’s time to get stuffed , drink too much and keep warm next to a blazing fire of hard-earned £20 notes. Have a good one!

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