HOLBEACH TOWN CENTRE: She has united our community

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In response to Mrs Lambert’s letter to the Lincolnshire Free Press (‘Holbeach seems to be dying slowly), she has clearly united the local Holbeach community, who are furious at her comments about a dying town.

The Christmas street market that she refers to has been brilliantly run by a very small team of volunteers for many years. It is very stressful and time consuming running a major event like this and with no new helpers coming forward they decided to call it a day.

Holbeach church, aided by many volunteers, have made a huge effort to step into the breach and take on a new style Christmas fayre.

Although very different from the previous Christmas market, the Victorian Christmas fayre has been financially supported by all three district councillors and as county councillor I have part-funded with Transported Arts the giant interactive Codex book that took pride of place in the church, telling the history of Holbeach along with some interesting local stories, mostly put together by the children from William Stukeley Church of England Primary School. The Victorian fayre has been supported by all the community, from the parish council, Holbeach in Bloom, William Stukeley Primary School and many individuals and businesses in the town. A real community effort, which will gradually grow over the coming years.

There was an excellent turnout over the weekend and, as they say: “Great things come from small beginnings.”

Holbeach in Bloom has put a huge amount of physical effort into making the town a delight to see, with some stunning hanging baskets around the town and the churchyard and entrances to the town looking wonderful.

This is only done with the help of numerous volunteers who have Holbeach in their heart. They achieved a magnificent Silver in the East Midlands in Bloom competition and were winners of the Best Kept Town, putting Holbeach on the map. Well done to them!

The district council has threatened legal action against the shop on the High Street next to The Chequers, under dangerous structures legislation, which has forced the owner to put up scaffolding and repair the building which will greatly improve the visual impact on the High Street.

Government with lobbying from our MP and local government (district and county councils), have helped local business to reduce their overheads with business rate relief. Government announced just last week that the small business rate relief scheme will be doubled for a further year to provide 100 per cent relief from business rates for 2015/16.

Unfortunately a few money grabbing landlords who do not live in Holbeach continue to ask our shops to pay unreasonable rents, forcing some of them out business.

All towns of our size are struggling with huge competition from the Internet and on-line shopping, but there are some great independent shops in Holbeach and through the work of Holbeach in Bloom, the District’s Pride in the Community clean-up campaign, the parish council and the many volunteers and community groups, they are all contributing to making Holbeach a town to be proud of.

There is much work to do but Holbeach is certainly not a dying town. Next year will see the popular Town and Country Fayre and the second year of the Holbeach Food Festival, the prospect of a new medical centre ( in itself a huge investment into the town) and other exciting projects in the pipeline.

All of our councillors across the political divide, whether at parish, district or county council, in conjunction with the excellent work of our local MP, are working hard, day in, day out, promoting Holbeach, to make it a town we can all be proud of.

Coun Nick Worth

County Councillor for the

Holbeach Division