A proper Northern Quarter is on my wishlist for 2015

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I was talking to my friends and colleagues about what to write in my final column of the year and, to a person, they all recommended I stroll through my column archive and then talk about some of the high and low points of 2014.

It was a good idea…but maybe next year.

Instead, I would quite like to look forward. No, I’m not going to repeat my final column of 2013 and talk about my resolutions for the year ahead.

Instead, I would like to roll out my wishlist.

In 2015 I wish for Portsmouth City Council to rip up the Northern Quarter contract, which has been altered to make it a pale representation of the shopping centre it promised to be.

Similarly, I would like the whole project to be re-tendered so we might actually get a developer who — shock, horror — wants to develop.

I also wish, next year, for the secrets and lies over who owns South Parade Pier to finally come to an end and for it to finally begin the long, long process of being returned to the city for its residents to enjoy.

In 2015 I would like to see a commitment from every local authority in our area to raise the standard of living for all its tenants across the board so everyone has access to clean, healthy accommodation.

I would also like 2015 to be the time when this area finally frees itself of six years of economic recession and depression.

I want smaller businesses to be given the support they need to grow into bigger ones.

It’d also be nice if 2015 could be a year when none of the major companies here announce swingeing cuts and redundancies.

But unfortunately I already know this wish is unlikely to be fulfilled as IBM continues its review of its bases in the UK.

Personally, I would like 2015 to be the same as 2014 – full of good health, a wonderful family, a roof over my head, a cracking social life and a very demanding cat.

Finally, may 2015 bring you all you wish for and more. Happy new year!