I’m pleased if my poor efforts to draw attention to the problems of Holbeach at least seem to have attracted Roger Gambba-Jones’ attention, though he will note my comments were not directed at him by name.
Clearly he is now even more aware that there is more to South Holland than Spalding.
At no time did I state that the market would be worse off on the car park. My position, expressed publicly, was try it and see.
It is good for the traders that it’s looking brighter. The problem lies in the decreased footfall in the high street caused by the move.
The apology for not consulting the parish before the implementation of significant changes is appreciated. It usually pays to ask nicely first, even if you don’t have to.
I do have the same budget as other councillors but since I regularly run a stand on the market at Christmas, I hope he can see that it would be inappropriate of me to use public money to support something I may benefit from.
It would be unreasonable to expect the district to hold sway over any large commercial organisation, like Aldi. Few councils can manage that, but there is no reason why the South Holland District Council could not ask if a suitable opportunities arises, as it has done several times in recent years. I was merely making a suggestion for the future.
Yes, section 106 money must be spent in the immediate area of the development concerned and for the benefit of those who live there.
Last time I looked, both Manor Farm and Peppermint junction are rather nearer to Holbeach than Spalding.
I have little doubt that we can think of any number of appropriate local projects or improvements to our crumbling infrastructure that need extra funding and would be of benefit to both new and existing residents. I do hope that district remembers to ask us.
The idea that Holbeach Parish Council should take over the market, or the car park, came up before or very soon after many of the present members joined.
At the time, I doubt the district council would have assisted with any appropriate funding, especially since it has removed what was left of our support grant, which will bump up the parish precept and save a bit on its own rates increase.
The parish council is now considering what, within its very limited powers and even smaller budget, it can do to help revive the town centre.
I do believe in working together and accept that services in Spalding are used by all the residents of towns and villages throughout the district – it’s just a bit harder for residents outside Spalding to access them.
Parishes must work with district authorities, our district councils with neighbouring ones (which they actually do rather well, sharing back-office services to keep down costs) and likewise with county councils.
We all have to do what an elected Government tells us, but that does not mean that any one group should simply dictate to others or that the higher authority, by virtue, is always right.
Mr Gambba-Jones is welcome to talk to me about anything if he has the time. It need not be through these pages, so long as I get reasonable answers.