Chamber Chat with John O'Neill

May 03, 2022 - 12:00am

Chamber Chat with John O'Neill

My sister was a vampire

Well, not in the literal sense but she was an artistic vampire. She is the eldest of five children and, miraculously, she seemed to inherit the meagre artistic talents from my parents leaving the rest of us siblings with barely zero ability to draw, paint or handle a musical instrument in even the most rudimentary fashion.

Luckily, as the years progressed, our talents began to emerge in other directions – nurtured by school or other life experiences. I had always enjoyed English at school and as my education and career progressed, I found I very much enjoyed stringing words together into coherent sentences, paragraphs, and stories. A lot of people are not so fortunate and find that circumstances or time conspires against them unleashing their full potential.

You may have noticed an increased in anti-social behaviour (ASB) in the District recently. This latest bout of bad behaviour has been exacerbated by lockdown where many kids haven’t had the formal guidance and discipline that education brings. ASB is generational and without certain societal structures in place to offer that guidance it’s easy for many to stray down the wrong path.

In past years there were more formal structures in place to help identify kids with behavioural problems and steer them down the correct paths but, post-pandemic, we are discovering that, perhaps, these structures need to be rebuilt.

Recently the councils, police, the third sector and other partners including the Chamber and Morecambe/Lancaster Business improvement Districts have been discussing in earnest how to tackle these problems in these currently challenging times. It will call for a bit of innovative and free thinking, but I think we have the talent and resources in the District to overcome these issues and, indeed, unlock the hidden talent that I believe many of these kids possess.