Phillip Hammond, Chancellor of the Exchequer must be a reader of this column as he has picked up on an idea I put forward about two months ago.

He is concerned about the future of our High Streets.

(Go to Wotton, Phil) and suggests empty commercial premises should be turned into dwellings, therefore increasing the footfall in our failing town centres.

It seems obvious to me and if appropriate parking can be sorted out there are benefits all round.

The next thing you can learn Phil is that our system of local government is too weighty and inefficient. Keep County Councils and Town or Parish Councils, but please do away with District Councils. Well-meaning they may be, but they slow up so many procedures and regarding planning matters, one has to ask if they have the appropriate expertise? In this time of austerity, which we all know is still with us are District Councils not an unnecessary expense?

This column also has readers who hail from north of the border – the land of deep fired Mar’s bars that once had a reasonable national soccer team.

While agreeing with my column on the pseudo spookery of Halloween my correspondent introduced me to the Scots practice of “Guising”. Youngsters set out, hoping for treats, but before they were giving any they had to do a brief performance, perhaps recite a poem, sing a song or even dance.

This is a positive way of behaving and had this celebration crossed the border with Scotland we would all have been better off than our current practice of meekly following our North American cousins.

My recent visit to Wotton under Edge was stunning for so many reasons. One was hearing about Wotton in Bloom and listening to how successful it had been. The pictures were amazing. How well Cirencester could do in this excellent competition was uppermost in my mind. Rumour has reached me that the Town Council are not in favour of the town entering because it would conflict with the now re-ordered Market Place. I do hope this is not true as entering is such a worthwhile activity. It pulls the community together and will result in a more attractive town for both locals and tourists. Do not miss out Cirencester.