Not so very long ago, Holbeach market was some three times as big as it is now, including a second greengrocer in Church Street.
There is quite sufficient room for expansion. A couple of traders want to see if they will do better on the car park – footfall on the market has certainly reached close to rock bottom.
A two-month trial has been reluctantly agreed, they may even be right. Time will tell, but this has been tried before elsewhere and failed.
Is this best for the town? Certainly not. It will move our centre to Tesco, the principal cause of the demise of our high street.
I do not recall any serious attempts to promote Holbeach market during the 30-plus years I traded there, other than a few rent-free weeks to try to get more traders.
What we need is a wider range of shops, which could be excused rates and given a reasonable deal by landlords for maybe a year to get them started.
No more fast food outlets, estate agents or hairdressers. Those here already should stay, of course.
Empty shops need to be smartened up and filled. The town needs publicity, more annual events that include the town centre and better facilities. An Aldi or similar store would help, too.
Spalding seems to get everything, while Holbeach is ignored.
When South Holland District Council gets cash from the new housing developments, I would like to see some of it spent here, not put into the Spalding pot.
The infrastructure of our town will be severely strained by some 3,000 extra residents and maybe 2,500 extra vehicles on our roads.
The parish council does its best but the fact that it was not even consulted about the market move before a decision was made indicates the contempt in which the district council appears to hold it.
We have removed the flood hazard by the car park gate to Carters Park, will soon put up an improved fence in Park Road and are co-operating in attempts to upgrade the football club buildings.
All done on a shoestring and in spite of the district council cutting its support grant.
New smaller allotments are available and well taken up. The Holbeach in Bloom committee does super work, as does the group behind the town’s Christmas lights, but we can only achieve so much without help from the district authority.
The new roundabout and commercial development at Peppermint junction may help, but it alone will not revitalise our town centre.
Holbeach is the second largest town in South Holland and continues to grow rapidly.
It’s up to all of us to work together to make it, as it changes, a great place to live.
South Holland District Council needs to do its share, too.