Clearly Holbeach is dying. Intensive care is essential for its survival. Yet the patient lies neglected and alone in its hour of need.
Abandoned by shoppers who prefer the convenience of Tesco, the high street is empty.
Expensive and costly lampposts, testaments to civic vanity rather than rural authenticity, stand sentinel beside shabby facades of no historic or architectural merit conserved simply because they are old.
Old people, however, have no such attraction for the authorities; struggling the length of the street for the bus, trying to avoid HGVs lumbering close to narrow pavements – no wonder they prefer other ways to shop.
But not only the customers have deserted the town; Holbeach Parish Council now holds its monthly meetings in outlying satellite hamlets – Holbeach Hurn, Holbeach St Marks and so on.
Never mind carbon emissions, never mind the town’s failing heart. The nurses are gallivanting around the hospital grounds instead of gathering at the bedside.
The patient records are chaotic: unrelated items are scattered randomly through the council agenda with no thought to priorities.
Dog bins have higher priority than toilets, allotments more than the business plan. Compassion and care are notably absent.
Fractured by internal rivalries, its elected representatives suspicious and resentful of suggestions, the town is sinking fast. Other little towns survive Tesco because they pull together and fight back. Why can’t Holbeach?