04 Oct Keeping it local in Gillingham
It’s great to see a new multi-fuctioning website for Gillingham Chamber of Commerce plus the return of the Gillingham, Dorset Business Directory in a new format after 2 years’ absence. Over the next few years Gillingham will experience its next phase of significant expansion, with some 1,700 new homes being built. In the time I’ve lived in our town its population has doubled, and in ten years’ time it will be pretty much 3 times what it was when I moved here in 1993.
Past expansion has sometimes been painful. We lost some valued facilities. Our Primary schools reached their capacity and some young children had to be bussed to nearby villages for their education. Our single doctors’ surgery was in danger of being overwhelmed, and the demand for pre-school facilities far outstripped the supply. Our High Street decayed as the wind of recession blew through it.
But throughout those trying times, Gillingham never lost its spirit or its determination to put things right, make them better, and ensure they stay that way. As last year’s Mayor, Val Pothecary, has mentioned, a powerful and effective community spirit is everywhere at work: in our Town Council, our Three Rivers Partnership, The Neighbourhood Plan Group, our Town Team, our community-owned Leisure Centre, our reviving High Street, our excellent schools; and the local charities, organisations and support groups, plus the growing membership of our Chamber of Commerce.
Gillingham is not a dormitory suburb: it is a lively, friendly and energetic community to live, work, shop, and enjoy life in.
Gillingham is not a dormitory suburb: it is a lively, friendly and energetic community to live, work, shop, and enjoy life in. Gillingham is not a ‘chocolate-box Dorset town’ and never will be. We are a diverse, enterprising, hard-working and welcoming community. Working together as we do, we are the envy of many others. We don’t wait for ‘them’ to ‘do something’; we get together, and get on with it, and make it happen. And when it does happen, we don’t sit back and congratulate ourselves. We look forward and go on to the next challenge. We do not fear the arrival of our new neighbours; we look forward to meeting them and working with them in the years ahead. We are rightly proud of our town and it is a very great honour to be its Mayor this year. Cllr David Milsted Mayor of Gillingham