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Sunday, 26 October 2014

YouTube video must not be allowed to damage town

AT A time when businesspeople are making strenuous efforts through the High Street regeneration group to encourage visitors to come to Langholm, I am saddened by the comments and videos on YouTube and in the media which paint a very negative portrait of the High Street.

The video has been very carefully made to show the High Street inundated by lorries; the pictures are taken at an angle to make them appear bigger and obviously at a time chosen to show a High Street virtually empty.

The blog states that “parents feel unable to allow their children to walk or cycle up the High Street, elderly people stay at home because they can’t cross the road safely and mothers with pushchairs prefer to put their children in the car rather than walk to the shops”.

At lunchtime the High Street is full of children and at going home time there are many parents with children walking along the street. As for the elderly staying at home, that implies they are incapable of crossing roads. I and many of my friends and acquaintances are in that category and I can assure the blogger that we all cope very well with crossing roads safely.

I regularly speak to many visitors and cycling groups who come to the town and they all comment on the friendly people and the very hospitable cafes, shops and hotels. Not once have they said Langholm is an unsafe place to be.

Several organisations are working hard to bring some very exciting events to the town next year and it is to be hoped their efforts are not harmed by this adverse publicity.

I am concerned that the 20’s Plenty campaign which originally was about all the residential streets in Langholm has now focused on the High Street. Why?

The 20’s Plenty petition is addressed to the Scottish government and Dumfries and Galloway council but, to the best of my knowledge, has yet to be presented to these bodies. Again, why the delay?

Langholm is known far and wide as a town which punches well above its weight and works hard to give residents and visitors a pleasant experience. This letter is not from the community council but that I write as someone who loves being part of this community and wants to see the efforts being made by so many to make Langholm a thriving community again come to fruition.

Margaret Sanderson

Westerkirk Schoolhouse

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