I REMEMBER when Redditch was a hive of small businesses comprising great diversity, opportunity and benefit.

Ironmongers, grocers, butchers, carpenters, small farms and so forth.

Small businesses that bought stock locally, or in Britain at least, and whose profits were spent locally, ensuring a sustainable local economy, in financial terms at least.

It has been sad to watch this economy be systematically hijacked, with small businesses gradually falling victim to the purchasing power, marketing power, loss leading power and general domination tactics of corporations and chains.

We have allowed our town to be taken over and dominated by huge organisations collectively dedicated to sucking the wealth out of every corner of the economy, creating pipelines of money from Redditch to distant oceans of concentrated wealth for the benefit of an opulent minority, never to be seen again, gradually occupying and urbanising every nook and cranny of natural land that remains. While we all must take responsibility for participating in selling ourselves out, there are certainly some, in positions of authority and influence, who have knowingly and willingly helped to facilitate our almost guaranteed decline, in the service of their careers and personal wealth, to the detriment of the majority.

They will of course be the ones defending this economic course with selective use of facts and figures, whether true of not, that give the impression that it is to our benefit.

With all this in mind I have a question for the people of Redditch; do you want your town back and if so what are you going to do about it?