YOUR LETTERS: District does work with Holbeach

Roger Gambba-Jones
Roger Gambba-Jones
3
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I would like to respond to Paul Foyster’s recent letter (Stop trying to ignore issue, Spalding Guardian, January 13).

While he is understandably keen to support his ward, I’m disappointed that nothing he says seeks to make a positive contribution towards his key message of working together.

Some two years ago, South Holland District Council asked all parish councils with street markets, Holbeach included, if they wanted to be more involved in their operation. None took up the offer.

This is not a criticism; they clearly appreciated the challenges involved and felt that the district council was best placed to do the job.

On another point that Mr Foyster raises, the district council does indeed offer free stall rental periods to new traders.

Anybody wishing to give market trading a try should contact the council for more details.

It’s early days, but first reports suggest that the move of Holbeach market to the car park has increased business for virtually every trader.

My apologies to all those who felt we did a poor job of publicising our plans for this move.

Mr Foyster refers to a lack of promotion of Holbeach market. This applies to all South Holland markets due to a lack of a budget for such activities.

In recent years, the promotion of Spalding’s market has been funded from my own ward budget and by members of the Spalding Town Forum as part of the annual Love Your Local Market campaign.

Mr Foyster has the opportunity to do the same using his own his locality budget.

As a parish councillor, surely he and his fellow parish councillors are best placed to encourage the actual property owners, not just those struggling to run the businesses, to make them more attractive, thereby making the town centre a more inviting place to visit?

His letter goes on to refer to money from new housing in Holbeach being spent elsewhere; exactly what money, I ask?

Section 106 money – funds obtained from developers to offset the impact of large developments – is tightly controlled and its expenditure must relate directly to the development that generated it; it would be illegal to do otherwise.

Council tax and new homes bonus funds are used for the benefit of the whole of South Holland, not just Spalding.

Suggesting that the district council could hold sway over Aldi to build its store in Holbeach instead of Spalding has no basis in reality, I’m afraid.

His half-hearted support for what seemed liked the impossible dream of a roundabout at Peppermint junction is the biggest disappointment.

Despite their current financial tribulations, the county council has fully supported this project.

Yet, Mr Foyster seems unable to bring himself to acknowledge this as a very clear demonstration of our two councils doing exactly what he is calling for, working together.