SIGNAL BOX: Don’t use us as political pawns

News from the Lincs Free Press and Spalding Guardian, spaldingtoday.co.uk, @LincsFreePress on Twitter
News from the Lincs Free Press and Spalding Guardian, spaldingtoday.co.uk, @LincsFreePress on Twitter

I am writing to you as a secretary of the committee formed to progress the campaign of the St James Deeping Signal Box Group.

As you will have read in my previous communications with your paper, this has been a campaign which the people of the Deepings have been dedicated to since we first learnt that our 150-year-old box was to be demolished by Network Rail as part of their automisation programme.

This whole campaign has been totally non-political, with our Conservative MP working in conjunction with our Labour county councillor

Phase One ended when our box was “sympathetically deconstructed”, not demolished, with all parts saved and stored for us to rebuild on land we could purchase near the original site.

The company promised that they would replace anything damaged during the deconstruction.

So began Phase Two! With the constant support of John Hayes MP, who has worked tirelessly to see this part of our heritage restored to its former glory, he has sorted generous funding toward the rebuild. We could not have got this far without his support. We are also hoping for help from local builders and Manor Roofing Ltd, of Deeping St James, have already stepped forward with their offer to retile the roof when that stage of the rebuild is reached. We thank them for their generous offer.

This whole campaign has been totally non-political, with our Conservative MP working in conjunction with Phil Dilks, our county councillor, who is a member of the Labour Party, and our district councillor Judy Stevens, who is an Independent.

I was however surprised, when picking up an election pamphlet from David Parsons, the local UKIP candidate, who emphasised as part of his election campaign his commitment to the project. David Parsons has only attended one general meeting, where there was a strong media presence, offering to sort funding for us and has not made contact with any members of the group since. We do not wish to be used as a political pawn in the lead-up to an election and hope that our signal box can be rebuilt for the benefit of people, regardless of party politics. If David Parsons wishes to become an active member of the group, he would be more than welcome but we now need actions, not words