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Letters to the Lincolnshire Free Press editor: April 20, 2021

I welcome the stance of Sir John’s group

In his April 2 ‘Hayes in the House’ article, (MP) Sir John Hayes spoke in his usually eloquent style about an issue the majority of the people in this country want to see dealt with.

He rightly pointed out that the argument is not about whether we allow asylum seekers refuge in our country, it is about the perfectly able – largely young men – who are showing up on the shores of this country after passing through many safe European nations, and in doing do making a mockery of our asylum system.

He was right to highlight that the United Kingdom has a proud and generous history of helping those truly in need.

Look back to the 50,000 Huguenots we welcomed as religious refugees from France in the 17th century or the 30,000 Ugandan Asian refugees who settled here following their ethnic expulsion from Uganda.

In the face of this country’s longstanding commitments, an asylum and immigration system which rewards the human trafficking of economic migrants should sting all the more.

Hopefully, the Home Secretary’s new immigration plan John Hayes mentions will go some way to fixing the flaws in our current system with a more efficient, streamlined process less prone to the manipulations of boat-chasing lawyers and more focused on delivering for those truly in need.

Although this is welcome, there are clearly larger issues with how our immigration system deals with ‘illegals’ and I welcome John’s Common Sense Group taking this issue forward on behalf of the silent majority of Brits fed up with the constant talk on this matter without any concrete action.

Michael Foster

via email

John Elson's Lincolnshire Free Press cartoon (46318960)
John Elson's Lincolnshire Free Press cartoon (46318960)

He should use his spare time to volunteer

Once again we have (MP) Sir John Hayes peddling his urban myth about ‘taking back control of our borders’. How many times have we heard it?

It’s up there with, Elvis is alive and well and working in a chip shop in Hull, and Coventry City is a world class football club (okay, I invented that one).

While taking on extra jobs as an MP to pocket the wonga is an absolute disgrace.

If you have so much spare time on your hands Sir John why not use your err undoubted skills to volunteer in a care home or help with litter picking?

Rick Stringer

Sutton St James

Steff Beamis' photo of the sunset over Quadring, taken last June.
Steff Beamis' photo of the sunset over Quadring, taken last June.

We applaud the steps that he has taken

Regarding Sir John Hayes’ recent article on heritage craft. The Heritage Crafts Association was delighted when the chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Craft took on the concerns of many of its members regarding the UNESCO Convention on intangible cultural heritage – or our ‘skills heritage’.

The UK is one of only 13 countries out of 193 signed up to UNESCO that has not ratified this important aspect of the heritage of all of us in the UK.

Heritage crafts are one of the five strands of the Convention but sadly this country, unlike many others throughout the world, does little to encourage or support making, nor champion our amazing world-renowned makers, often revered in other countries but hardly known here.

Ratification would ensure that, similar to the Heritage Crafts Association’s Red List of Endangered Crafts, our treasured skills heritage would be surveyed, and an assessment made of where priorities would be for support.

But it is much more than that, as Professor Timothy Ingold wrote: “It is about placing values of care and custodianship, as well as respect for difference, at the heart of the ways we live.”

We applaud Sir John Hayes for the steps that he has taken and can only hope that Oliver Dowden, Secretary of State at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, will appreciate how important this is for the future of the culture and heritage of this country, and how, post-Brexit, ratification will make Britain a leading light on an increasingly influential world stage, while at home bring communities together, promote tourism and improve local economies, as well as underpinning a sense of place, purpose and pride.

Anyone who cares about this aspect of our heritage is urged to write to the Secretary of State encouraging him to ratify this UNESCO Convention while he is still in post.

Patricia Lovett MBE

Chair, Heritage Crafts Association

Town centre is shooting itself in the foot

The Covid pandemic has been savage for town centres and many small businesses and Spalding has not escaped the carnage caused in that sector. So last Monday’s loosening of restrictions by allowing the opening up of non -essential shops would, one thought, have been a fantastic opportunity for Spalding shopkeepers to open their businesses and attempt to recoup some of their losses over the last 13 months.

Not so it seems, for many of our independent shops as well as some survivors from the larger chains, seem to have remained resolutely closed or have severely restricted opening hours when one would have thought they needed the trade.

When we operated Tulip Radio, we made a point of championing many Spalding independents and heard many a complaint about Springfields and their power.

We believed, and I still do, in the power of the town centre but Spalding appears to be shooting itself in the foot.

I look forward to someone from Spalding Chamber of Commerce explaining why many Spalding town centre shops are operating 1950s opening times when Springfields seem now to be operating more or less normally?

Chris Carter
via email

Councillor has disappointed me so far

I am writing to say how disappointed I am in my local councillor Manzur Hasan.

I see he is now standing as a county council candidate for the Independent Party.

I’ve discussed one or two local issues with people down my street and they have struggled to get hold of him at times for council issues.

How can he represent us at a local level if he isn’t around all the time?

I want my councillor on hand to be able to address my issues.

Jack McLean is a brilliant councillor at doing this and I have nothing but praise for his dedication – why isn’t he standing for county instead of Manzur?

All I ask is that if he is serious about representing us at Lincoln, commit to South Holland and being here first – I can’t vote for him this time as I feel let down with his performance so far as a district councillor.

I have seen the other people standing in this area and seen what they can bring to the table.
I’ve not made my mind up yet on who to support but Manzur isn’t top right now.

Nigel Sharman

via email

We need to look to the future, not the past

I’m writing regarding the letter from Coun Booth and Coun Brewis. I feel very let down by our councillors.

I’d like to know what Coun Brewis has done for the area recently or is going to do.

I’ve had a leaflet (for the Lincolnshire County Council elections) and he is making no real commitment or promises to us here – just the same as normal. I am very frustrated at the lack of change and support for Sutton Bridge.

I want to see the projects and things Coun Brewis has brought to Sutton Bridge over the past four years. I cannot think of a single thing.

The Marina and the Curlew Centre are all over 10 years old.

I have also seen a leaflet from Jack Tyrell and I don’t know him but he seems full of fresh and good ideas of things that would improve and better Sutton Bridge.

Personally, I appreciate Coun Brewis has worked hard over the years but it’s now time for a change and some new ideas.

I welcome the idea of having the waste collection service here, it would be great.

Why hasn’t Coun Brewis done that here as Jack has done in Long Sutton?

He also talks about making the roundabout a visual spectacle as people come here... again what a great idea. Why hasn’t Coun Brewis thought about doing this?

I think the time has come to move on and have someone come in with a positive
approach on how to improve Sutton Bridge.

All the items in the letters page were about things which had been done years ago. Where are the new ideas over the past four years?

I would like to thank Chris for the help he has offered in the past but we now need to move on.

I wish Jack Tyrrell all the success and hope he wins as we need someone with passion and desire to make our area better for the future rather than focus on the past.

Jack has my support and I hope others will now choose to make the change.

Sutton Bridge resident

Name and address supplied

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