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5 South Holland and The Deepings candidates debate at election hustings with local issue of Crowland's Radar Corner

The five candidates campaigning for the South Holland and the Deeping seat took part in an election hustings last week.

Martin Blake (Green), Sir John Hayes (Con), Davina Kirby (Lib Dem), Mark Popple (Lab) and Rick Stringer (Ind) debated in The Vista Hall, Spalding, on Friday.

Organised by church leaders, the debate was chaired by the Rev Steve Weatherly Barton who posed a total of six questions which had been submitted by the public.

Question subjects included whether politics should have a morale purpose; changing the hostile environment in the Department forWork and Pensions; maritime security and our future allies; safety of the NHS; what will happen when politicians learn that “money doesn’t grow on trees.

One question on a local issue asked candidates what they thought about proposals for Radar Corner at Crowland.

Mr Stringer told the hall that he would welcome suggestions.

He said: “I use that junction on a regular basis and it frightens the life out of me.

“Something has got to be done or we are going to lose more and more lives.”

Mr Popple said he had been in Crowland speaking to residents about this issue and that a roundabout would be a better solution.

He said: “If I was MP, I would be open toany ideas which limits and completely eradicates the possibility of road traffic collisions.”

Mr Popple also said he would be open to listening to opinions on how to stop terrible accidents.

Mr Blake said Lincolnshire County Council had made an excuse for not taking radical action for an actual problem that now exists at Radar Corner.

He said: “The question I ask is that if they can’t find money to deal with an actual accident blackspot at Radar Corner how can they find £50million to fund the (Spalding) Western Relief Road?”

Mrs Kirby told the hall that she had gathered that traffic problems had been going on for years and the area needed something doing now.

She said: “I have learned that it is about power and that is why if you continue to vote for a Conservative elected MP, you will get what you have always got.

“If you vote Liberal Democrat, you will have a voice. You will have what I have alluded to just now, you will have power.”

Mr Hayes said that when the A16 was developed the junction had never felt right to him and highlighted issues with the road along with highlighting that the matter is the responsibility of the county council.

He said: “The council are going to have to come up with somethingto guarantee safety, we cannot riskfurther accidents and the possibility of fatal accidents.

Moving onto the western relief road, Mr Hayes who has been involved in the campaign, said it should be go ahead until there are assurances the middle section will be compelted.

Mr Hayes later said that talking about power was not sensible and being a local MP is not about exercising authority but the effect of an MP acting.

He said: “Some things I have won and some I haven’t but that is true of every other MP.”

While the debate was fairly civilised, there was an outburst from Craig Jackson, of the Brexit Party, who was unhappy about that there was not a question about Brexit.

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