It is generally accepted that there is a need for our town centres to evolve into safe, attractive, family-orientated destinations in the evening.
Much work has been done over the years and many reports written which state that we need to develop thriving night-time economies to help our town centres survive.
And good work is being done to ensure that is the case.
Kettering Council’s vision in creating the new Market Place and attracting two national restaurant chains to open there should be applauded.
It is a significant step towards changing people’s perceptions about going out at night in Kettering.
Similar hopes have been expressed elsewhere in the county.
But there is a problem that must be tackled before parents of young childen and older people will feel entirely safe in our town centres at night.
The perception that our town centres are dens of iniquity is wrong. The vast majority of people who go out at night just want to have a good time with friends.
However, when alcohol gets involved there will always be a small element who cannot control themselves.
Tackling this issue and the alcohol-fuelled crime that ensues is a top priority for our local police, and rightly so.
If this can be controlled and further investment can be secured then we can all drink to a long and prosperous future for our town centres.
Neil Pickford, Editor