It is quite a pleasant evening out in Bradford and when that usually happens it sees City Park is full of many young people. Lots of teenagers generally just sat around or maybe playing football, or larking about in the Mirror Pool. There are people who are probably from most parts of the city, many different backgrounds, all wearing different clothes and a there is a whole spectrum of funky hair colours and different sub-cultures sat around. It is a heartening sight.
The other day, George Galloway stated that by 2020 Bradford will be "the youngest city in Europe" and "what should be a blessing is going to be a time bomb". Given the unemployment rate amongst young people in Mr Galloway's constituency and the news last week that Thomas Cook will be pulling nearly 500 jobs out of the city, it is difficult to argue against this viewpoint. Many of the young people out enjoying themselves in City Park tonight are likely to go to University and then leave home for work because the city does not have the job opportunities. Some young people might choose to start their own business, but what would make them want to choose to do this in Bradford than any other city. There is a danger that the most skilled people will leave and will leave behind a population with lower employability than in other cities.
The amount of vacant space in the population, the unemployment rate, the high proportion of young people and the ability for Bradford to be able to reinvent itself differently to other large cities in the north should all align to make the centre of Bradford be a really special city in the next decade or so. But it is very easy to find reasons to dismiss this and to write off the city.