Letters to the Spalding Guardian editor – December 17
We need a ‘can do’ council
I think we have to accept the High Street shopping is a thing of the past. Online and the Springfields shopping experience are things of the future.
Springfields has demonstrated that Spalding can attract visitors. I believe in excess of two million. Many of these visitors will arrive by coach and they will shop in the morning in smart new shops offering brands they recognise, lunch, the gardens and then back on the coaches for the trip back home and cup of tea on the way.
What does Spalding offer? But it could do with imagination. Regeneration is a form of incremental change which rarely delivers value for money. So Spalding needs to make a steep change and deliver something creative which will entice some of the Springfield visitors to spend time in the town.
Maybe you could create a themed shopping experience of the past by altering shop fronts and using empty shops to recreate past shopping or craft experiences.
The town also needs to recognise that the new house building will bring new families to the town and these families will want somewhere to spend their leisure time. I would suggest our existing offerings are inadequate.
So how do we develop the leadership for change? I believe South Holland District Council must take the lead. We need someone who is going to pick up the mantle and change the council from a “can’t do” to a “can do” organisation. Not only do we have abandoned buildings in Spalding but Ayscoughfee Hall and South Holland Centre have remained closed through the pandemic, giving the impression that Spalding is closed for business.
The council also needs to employ people with a proven track record of delivering change in this sector. People make change and we need to invest the regeneration money in these people to start delivering it. Good people will work with the community and get involvement.
Spalding is likely to become a dormitory town for Peterborough. I think we need to recognise this and start to make the necessary political realignment.
The community also needs to recognise that we can’t go back to the 1950s and we need to become involved in helping to shape and deliver the future for our children. I know people live busy lives, making it difficult to achieve this, but if we don’t invest a few hours each month in the community the things we treasure today will not be there for tomorrow.
People did it through the pandemic. All I am suggesting is this continues and maybe the voluntary sector needs to change to accommodate this. I am sure many voluntary organisations would like to try. I hope this will stir some debate. One of the joys of age is you can speak your voice. Let’s get more people doing it so we shape a better future.
THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: Give your heart to God
Only eight more days and what we have been preparing and waiting for during Advent will be here – Christmas Day.
For the most part we acknowledge the reason for this celebration – the birthday of Jesus Christ. The BBC will broadcast carols from King’s; the Queen will speak to the nation – and God will try to speak to us.
How have you prepared for His message? Maybe we have thought kindlier towards absent relatives and friends and have made contact with them.
We have wondered what presents they would like. Perhaps we have thought of those without homes, or those who have lost someone close to them.
God speaks to us through Scripture, and as we remember the familiar stories of Joseph, Daniel and Ruth from our childhood, we discover something amazing!
God knows us, God cares and loves us and God knows what is best for us.
The best present we could give Him would be our love. St Peter did, even after he had denied knowing his beloved Saviour.
Jesus asks each one of us, ‘Do you love me?’ What will your answer be?
What can I give him,
poor as I am?
if I were a shepherd,
I would bring a lamb,
if I were a wise man
I would do my part;
yet what I can I give him,
give my heart.
St Mary and St Nicolas Church, Spalding