WANTAGE has come out this week as a shining example of how to run your town centre. The market town has managed to halve its number of empty shops in the past year.

Or rather, its two council-funded town team co-ordinators have. Iain Nicholson and Mim Norvell have been working their socks off, advertising the town to prospective businesses, designing a new town map and sprucing up the Market Place.

They have also been running a pop-up shop scheme for entrepreneurs to road-test their wares on Wantage shoppers.

And all the activity seems to have had a positive effect. And the money which the council used to fund the roles came from the Mary Portas pot which the Government put aside to boost ailing high streets.

Perhaps, South Oxfordshire District Council should take a leaf out of the Vale of White Horse’s book to help Wallingford, which seems to be the most empty market town in the south of the county.