March 2023
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The death of Britain’s seaside towns is due to the stupidity of their councillors

After yet another dismal summer, we once again hear that Britain’s seaside towns are suffering and their businesses are going bankrupt. But they’ve only themselves to blame for their decline. Imagine you were a slide-rule manufacturer when pocket calculators were first introduced. What do you do? Try to build better slide rules? Or change your business to adapt to new technologies and new consumer tastes?

For fifty years Britain’s seaside towns have been outcompeted by foreign package holidays which offer guaranteed sun, better food and better service at lower prices. So what have our seaside towns done? Not much. A few have added some supposed ‘attractions’ – basically taking the ‘build a better silde rule’ approach. Completely hopeless. Yet Britain’s seaside towns have a huge amount to offer if they were smart enough to adapt their business model.

Take Bournemouth. It has got miles of beaches and country parks, good schools and a four-bedroom house with a large garden costs about the same as a one-bedroom flat in London or a two-bedroom flat in other cities. Plus a commute in Bournemouth is five to ten minutes. What towns like Bournemouth can offer is a much better quality of life to any businesses prepared to leave London or our other cities. This is a huge new market for Britain’s seaside towns – businesses that want  to give their employees a better quality of life. So what does Bournemouth’s useless council do? Does it adapt and target this new market? No way. Instead the council wastes millions on new attractions – a dance centre (yawn), an artificial surf reef that only works about four days a year and so on.

Britain’s seaside towns are dying. But thy are dying because they have failed to identify and target a huge new market. Instead they keep on wasting millions trying to ‘build a better slide rule’ when the slide rule market is dead and gone forever.  They have only themselves and their stupid, unimaginative councillors to blame for their decline.

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