STRAIGHT TALK: A right to protest

TENSION has been growing day by day, week by week in Spalding over the issue of immigration, leading to a Facebook group being formed this week.

The group says it wants to give people “a voice and a place where they can air their opinions” – and that is fair enough.

I cannot abide racism or those that practise it, but genuinely concerned residents who are fed up with what is happening in their town deserve a voice.

The people who have set up the site are fed-up with street drinking, foreign-branded alcohol cans and bottles littering the streets of Spalding, and anti-social behaviour.

They have a point. And that point has been reiterated by the many letters complaining about such incidents that we publish week in, week out in the Spalding Guardian and Lincolnshire Free Press.

Whether we welcome immigrants or don’t like them here, one thing is definite – the people deserve the right to exercise their concerns.

Of course there will be those with racist and xenophobic views who will try to jump on the bandwagon and fill the site with evil tirades of hate.

But the people behind the group have already removed some racist slurs and banned others from the site. We will have to wait and see.

And as long as they protest in a legal, constructive and non-abusive way, then I have no problem with them and will give them a voice in our newspapers.

IT was lovely to meet dozens of local children when I judged our Spalding Flower Parade 2012 Prince and Princess competition with Karen Slator at the Fun Farm in Weston on Tuesday night.

All the children there were a credit to their parents and I am sure they will be a credit to the area on parade day too.