Guest column: The terrorists will never beat us

Neil Taylor, chief executive of Bassetlaw Council
Neil Taylor, chief executive of Bassetlaw Council

Like everyone else I was sickened and horrified by the cowardly and depraved attack in Manchester this week.

I have been attending concerts and gigs for the best part of 40 years and it has never crossed my mind that I wouldn’t make it home at the end of the show.

It is truly heart-breaking.

As a mark of respect to those caught up in the attack and their friends and families, the council has lowered its flags to half-mast and books of condolence are available to sign at the council offices in Worksop and Retford.

Like every local community in the UK we stand in solidarity with the people of Manchester in this difficult time.

Residents across Bassetlaw will have seen via the news that the UK threat level has now been raised to its highest level and that as well as armed police, troops will be deployed in some key locations across the country.

I have been briefed by Nottinghamshire Police and there no plans for troops to be on the streets of Bassetlaw, though residents may see armed officers if they are in the area.

Whilst the thought of troops and armed police on the streets is not something we are used to and might be disconcerting, we cannot be cowed or fearful.

Terrorists want to create discord, distrust and to create fear.

They want to try and divide us, but communities defeat terrorism and terrorists will never ever win.

The police depend on information from the public, in their efforts to keep us all safe.

With that in mind I’d like to highlight the national ACT Campaign.

This sets out how we can play our part in helping to tackle the threat facing the UK.

Information can be found at www.act.campiagn.gov.uk

If you see something suspicious, something that doesn’t feel quite right, even if you think it’s probably nothing, please report it.

The Anti-Terrorist Hotline is 0800 789321.

n Neil Taylor is chief executive at Bassetlaw Council.