POLITICS: Putting fingers to the pulse of the people

Matthew Mahabadi and Rodney Sadd in Spalding ANL-150403-105916001
Matthew Mahabadi and Rodney Sadd in Spalding ANL-150403-105916001

Shop owners were especially concerned about maintaining the centre of Spalding as the focus for shoppers

On Saturday the Labour Party and our local candidate Matthew Mahabadi met the people of Spalding via a walkabout of the market place and local businesses.

We received some interesting feedback on what the public and local businesses want to see improved in South Holland and The Deepings in general.

People thought the area was lacking in public transport and concerns were raised about the lack of local infrastructure. Also views were raised about the road links to the A1 from Lincolnshire via the new A16 which fell short of a dual carriageway in the planning stages some years ago.

It is clear from the increased volumes of commuting and heavy haulage traffic, planners did not consider the long-term growth of our local economy and clearly serious mistakes have been made here. We cannot rely on the other routes such as via Market Deeping as again this route is not suitable for the current volumes.

As for the local rail links, people thought a direct Lincoln to London service (stopping at Spalding) and to get trains to run later from Peterborough back to Spalding would be good for the local economy.

We understand the last train is around 8.30pm.Why not push for a later service, 9.30pm and 10.30pm and see what the public demand is really like?

It was also felt there could be better links with Boston, our neighbouring town in the heart of Lincolnshire.

We took an observation of the A16 and as we were parked in one of the lay-bys we witnessed first-hand the amount of (often dangerous) overtaking of HGV traffic.

We also noted the numerous potholes and the uneven surface of our road. There is an urgent need for another carriageway.

Many locals we spoke to about these problems asked how, as the constituency of a Minister for Transport, we are so poorly served by our local transport infrastructure.

We also spoke to local market traders who suggested a covered market close to Spalding town centre to drive further footfall and keep the traders out of the wet – perhaps converting the car-park in the Sheep Market to a covered market?

Shop owners were especially concerned about maintaining the centre of Spalding as the focus for shoppers, rather than drawing shoppers towards the Sainsbury’s development, or Springfields.

This was the first of many tours we are planning across South Holland and The Deepings to meet the public and local businesses, and understand their concerns. Our aim was to put our fingers to the pulse of local people’s views, and we feel it was very successful in that regard.

If your readers are interested in meeting their local Labour Party candidate and our members to share their views and concerns, then tomorrow (Sunday, March 8), we will be in Market Deeping.

For more details on this, and for details of future events, please visit our Facebook page (facebook.com/LabourPartySHD).

Rodney Sadd

Labour