Rachel Anderson is head of policy and representation at the North-East England Chamber of Commerce

IT seems like everyone is shouting and no one listening at the moment.

From pictures of Angela Merkle looking like she was about to throttle Donald Trump to the latter being rude to Justin Trudeau. Not to mention the cacophony of Brexit with everyone shouting and declaring what should happen except Theresa May who is the one we need to hear from. So, if I can flicker the lights, tell everyone to put their fingers on lips and sit on the thinking mat, we might get somewhere.

Our world leaders might be acting like a reception class but the issues are closer to home too, the past seven days have been some of the worst the retail sector has seen in a long time.

The knock-on effects of decisions taken on the other side of the world will have profound effect on the town centres we know and love.

Stores such as Binns are not merely retail outlets but shops in our DNA whether it be our first forays into “grown up” make up and perfume as teenagers to choosing wedding gifts in the homewares section to spending slightly too much on candles after a long Saturday lunch (or is that just me?) and it’s why this particular round of closures hurts.

Maybe that is why there is so much noise, but it seems that all that is being hurled around is accusations. Everybody thinks it’s someone else’s fault when in fact it is a combination of factors, a perfect storm.

The management of the companies themselves has a huge part to play and some Local Authorities may not have prioritised town centres as much as they should have.

Out of town shopping has played a significant role although that is suffering too and there are other factors such as parking and business rates (set by national government NOT local authorities). To be clear, everyone who has bought something online which they could have got in the town centre must also take some responsibility.

What is clear is that something needs to happen.

Nothing is going to be fundamentally changed by debates on where the market is located or whether toilets are open. We’ve reached our burning platform in terms of a long overdue look at what the town centre is for, how large it is and where we see the future and what WE as the population are actively going to do to get there.