ACCORDING to a former editor of mine, it was a good thing if your relationship with the local council and the police was slightly strained at times.
His thinking was that, if everything was hunky-dory between the paper and the establishment then there was a chance you weren’t doing your job properly in holding them accountable for their actions.
I tend to disagree with the old boy, but as far as our “We’ve Had Enough” campaign to rid the street of Spalding of street drinking and anti-social behaviour, I think he may have a point.
Over recent weeks we have had correspondence from Lincolnshire Police and South Holland District Council accusing us of blowing out of proportion the problems in Spalding.
And in today’s paper, the council deputy leader (see letter on page six) and the Chamber of Commerce president have both suggested the problems are not as bad as we make out.
Yet nearly 1,000 of you have signed a petition saying you’ve “had enough”. That petition was organised by the Spalding Guardian and Lincolnshire Free Press with local MP John Hayes in response to complaints from you, our readers.
Over the past couple of years hundreds of you have written letters, posted on our website and emailed us complaining of street drinking and anti-social behaviour in the town.
We are not accusing the police of not doing their job, not saying the council isn’t trying hard and certainly not trying to harm local businesses as the Chamber president suggests on page 28.
Both authors claim things have improved since 2009 and both point to a successful recent meeting with Mr Hayes.
Well, I’ve been in this town since March 2011 and things certainly haven’t improved in that time (although Abbey Path has slightly improved since our campaign started). As for the meeting, that was arranged as a direct result of our campaign.
All we are trying to do is reflect public opinion and help reclaim the streets for our readers. One thing my former editor and I agree on is that a local paper should campaign for local people – and we will continue to do that.