Gone are the days when the daily trek to Waterloo or wherever swallowed the early and late hours. Now employers question why their ventures spent so much on offices and why they ever needed physical meetings – and the scope for Fareham to be more than a sleepy dormitory town is so much greater.
Just a few months back the demise of local shopping was a real concern. With the collapse of some chain stores, and the ravages of Covid, it still is. But with the shift to online shopping for the boring essentials and much more working from home, the future scope for Fareham’s small ventures is tremendous – more potential daytime customers and less money drifting away every day on the train to town.
Are we caring enough for local small retailers? How do we ensure that the money stays longer within our local economy? Could the shopping centre’s landlords be persuaded to revive its half-empty malls by offering low-rent space to the niche small retailers of West Street?
As for the online revolution, what a pity, as a community, we never invested in a decent full fibre digital provider instead of those creaking copper merchants whose products daily demonstrate their stuttering distorted inadequacy on our screens.
When Covid kicked off everyone hoped that we’d soon get back to normal. Now, we are learning that many of us can live and work very differently. That old moribund economy has gone. Welcome to a very new normal – a Fareham of fresh opportunities.