Public meeting to help put pride back in Spalding riverside

A rallying call is being made to put the pride back into Spalding Riverside.

Spalding town councillors Gary Taylor and Jack McLean are inviting local residents, businesses, groups and organisations to a public meeting next month to discuss issues surrounding anti-social behaviour and potential riverside enhancements.

We are not expecting overnight changes but are confident that this is the right approach.

Coun Gary Taylor, SHDC portfolio holder for community development

Problems facing residents came to a peak earlier this year, after a spate of vandalism and graffiti wiped out all of the good work of volunteers and former Spalding clean-up crusader Sandra White.

With the help of the Free Press, a campaign was launched in September, with the aim of organising a public meeting involving residents, landlords, councillors and other interested bodies.

As well as anti-social behaviour issues, potential riverside enhancements will be discussed, alongside promoting public use and leisure activities such as cycling or walking.

Coun Taylor, South Holland District Council’s portfolio holder for community development, spoke after the last waive of vandalism and said it was time for the community to take ownership of what should be “the jewel of the town”.

He will chair the public meeting and said: “This is not about pointing the finger at anyone.

“It’s about pooling resources and making progress as a community.

“We are not expecting overnight changes but are very confident that this is the right approach.”

Projects and plans that need funding or support to get started will be offered to the local business community for sponsorship and to local residents for support.

Ideas have already arisen on the possibility of adding additional sponsored flower beds, or anti graffiti kits that could be lent out into the community.

Volunteers will continue to play a big part in the initiative but the plan is also to involve the local business community.

Coun McLean, who also launched the Spotless Spalding Social Group, said: “I am always keen to keep local businesses at the heart of progress in the town centre. With opportunities such as this, local businesses can be recognised as supporters of the town or local causes. It can be one of the best ways to advertise themselves. All we ask is that businesses turn up, share their ideas and play a part in progress.”

The meeting will take place on Friday, December 4, at the Pennygate Foundation, 204 Pennygate, PE11 1LT, starting at 6pm. Anyone interested is asked to confirm their attendance to help organisers prepare for the meeting. To request an agenda item, email Coun McLean at jmclean@sholland.gov.uk or write to him at South Holland District Council on Priory Road, Spalding, PE11 2XE.

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