It’s hard not to feel sorry for Peter Taylor, Watford’s fairly recently Elected Mayor. He has just completed his first hundred days in office, which by most politicians would have been marked by a self-congratulatory list of achievements, confirmation that not only was he doing the job, but that he was doing it well.

Mayor Taylor isn’t like that – you’ll remember that he marked his first 50 days by telling us he was doing much thinking, and much talking. But he didn’t actually have any achievements to tell us about just then. And after 100 days of solitude in the Mayor’s Parlour, that’s still the picture.

And good for him. At least he hasn’t committed his poor Council Tax payers to fund any grandiose schemes: remember that his predecessor did the dirty on him in April by increasing our Council Tax, so another increase next year shouldn’t be an option for him.

But three inescapable facts are really the cause of Mayor Peter’s apparent inertia; first, there’s no money. Since the financial collapse of 2008, Government money for local government has been cut by 30 per cent. We now see, affecting us ever more directly, council services throughout the country being slashed left, right and centre. And there’s no end in sight. So there’s simply no money available for Pete’s Pedals, his wheeze to get us all cycling on Watford’s overcrowded roads and pavements: no money to fund a Met Line extension substitute – but we can afford to wait until the job can be done properly without sacrificing the existing station.

Secondly, Peter has found that being Mayor is not all it was cracked up to be: the Mayor has no real powers beyond those enjoyed by all Councils – nor is there a magic wand. So when it comes to, say, stamping his feet at the withdrawal of a bus service, the name Peter Taylor on a petition carries no more weight than the name Joe Soap.

And thirdly, he’s discovered that he’ll get no help with new schemes from either Hertfordshire County Council who, after all, provides most of the services which we in Watford enjoy (although ’enjoy’ may not now be the right word) nor from that untrustworthy bogeyman next door, the Mayor of London. They’re both as cash-strapped as we are. But, of course, Peter knew all this before he was elected, he just couldn’t admit it, otherwise we wouldn’t have voted for him.

Does that mean, then, that Peter is going to sit in the town hall for the next four years waiting for the money tree to bear fruit? I do hope not.

So here’s an idea to get him started right now. Why doesn’t he give Watford a Visitor Information Centre? It would require no outside help, its cost would be an insignificant part of the Council’s overall budget, and it would give Watford’s residents as well as visitors an asset of much community value. All towns with a degree of civic pride have such a centre where they can let the world know about the attractions in and around the town. It would serve not only to increase the enjoyment of visitors, it would be somewhere we residents can find out about local events : at present there isn’t even a notice board in Watford town centre. The council should recognise that Watford isn’t simply a ‘retail destination’ – it’s a town of varied and unique character and the Council should be telling the world that there is much more than a shopping centre to enjoy here.

The small market town of Hitchin (population 34,000), for example, is one of many Hertfordshire towns where they have long had a Visitor Information Centre – they’ve just recently revamped it, and it’s now a marvellous centre of information and contact. It gives a town, and its people, self-esteem.

Why has Watford’s Council never wanted to boast about, and boost, Watford (population 95,000) this way? Come on, Peter, here’s something all the town can support. And you can cut the ribbon when it opens.

Anthony Bramley-Harker

Hibbert Avenue, Watford