‘It’s time to put cards on table over future’

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DEVELOPERS and councillors are being urged to put their cards on the table over plans for Spalding’s future.

A handful of traders and residents have made the call after an “accidental” mini-forum at the weekend with the man behind plans to redevelop Holland Market.

They came face to face with Michael Moran when he visited on Sunday morning to show his support for the town by taking part in a litter pick to clean up ahead of the Flower Parade this weekend.

But the event had to be cancelled due to bad weather and instead those who had turned up got into a discussion on the future of the town.

Christine Hanson, owner of Bookmark in The Crescent, where the litter pick was due to start, said: “It turned into a mini-forum where people had a chance to talk to Michael about the future of Spalding.

“There were some ferocious points of view because people are passionate about Spalding.

“They love the town and they don’t want to see it end up looking like everywhere else. It needs to maintain its character.

“I think the upshot of it was that it’s time for developers and councillors to put their cards on the table and involve the people of Spalding in decisions affecting our future.

“After the Red Lion Quarter disaster people are sceptical about what the council is doing, with good reason, so they need to come clean and be straight with us.”

Mrs Hanson said Mr Moran must be given full credit for staying to talk to the gathering, and said the end result was very constructive and positive, with everyone agreeing they would be willing to work with developers for the good of the town.

Mrs Hanson added: “We want an open discussion because we all want the town to survive,

“My feeling, along with many people, is that we are not against development if it’s not going to be in conflict and is going to enhance the town.

“We just want answers.

“We want to make sure Spalding doesn’t become all about Holland Market and that the old and new parts can work together.

“If they can reassure us, I think there will be less animosity and a lot more support for what they are trying to do.”

Mr Moran confirmed it had been a constructive meeting, saying: “It was a great opportunity to meet and talk to people and I was hopefully able to make clear that our interests lie in a strong and vibrant Spalding.

“We will come forward with plans as soon as we can.”