Spalding Guardian letters - March 14, 2019
Let’s hope they improve things soon
The leisure users of Spalding Castle Pool can only hope that the much publicised new service provider Parkwood delivers quickly on their promise to improve facilities. The old South Holland District Council (SHDC) excuse: “We have had issues with 1-Life (previous service provider)” will not cut it any more.
On recent visits only two lanes have been available for swimming (due to classes being moved into the main pool) and the children’s pool must have been shut more times than it has been open.
The sauna was out of action for more than a month due to a missing piece of wood (no doubt a full tender submission was required), then closed due to a heater failure. On my most recent visit the sauna is now closed for the forseeable future due to ‘not meeting current standards’. No doubt this will take at least six months to sort or longer.
The gents changing room is a disgrace, with recently re-laid vinyl peeling away again and turning mouldy. Tiles are broken and edgings exposed with sealant that was used to adhere just showing and not being re-fixed. The skimmers around the pool line are so thick with scum you can actually write you name in it with your nail.
There surely must be some sort of malaise going on in leisure services - does the portfolio holder for the site not visit the pool? Because if so they must do so with their eyes closed. The whole place needs a thorough deep clean from top to bottom.
The Parkwood team has some lovely new T-shirts and some lovely new signs have been put up, but it doesn’t really solve the problems...
With SHDC general reserves of close to £9m, isn’t it about time some of this money was put to good use to improve facilities? Perhaps we could also sort a few more issues out and have serviced toilet facilities in town and more patrols to enforce the seemingly non-existent no alcohol area - just saying...
James Le Sage
Don’t touch this with a barge pole
Regarding your story about animals being stolen and butchered, residents ought to be very concerned indeed about animal thefts, dubious slaughter, and offal, etc, being found in dykes. Fortunately it was found by parish councillor Simon Booth and reported.
Many years ago, I was chairman of the Meat Inspection Committee at South Holland, before the government in London in the 1980s unwisely removed local authority control of the subject.
Then, and it still applies, meat had to be produced and dealt with in accordance with very tight and severe rules and regulations, which still apply for public protection to this day.
Heaven knows where, and under what conditions, these poor, stolen creatures have been slaughtered and “prepared”.
Unpleasant events like this would NOT happen if there were no market for the “dodgy” meat produced. I would recommend very strongly that if residents are offered meat at a price which seems “too good to be true”, it probably is just that.
If people, wherever they are, refused to buy the “doubtful” meat, the incentive to steal and butcher the animals would disappear.
My strong advice would be “don’t touch it with a barge pole”. You have no idea where the “dodgy butchering” took place, nor a clue about what you might catch or get as a result.
Roundabout is the only solution
The recent coroner’s inquest must have been another sad day for the family of the motorcyclist who lost his life last year on the notorious road junction at the A16 in Crowland.
Our condolences go to that family and all of the others who have lost loved ones in a similar circumstance.
Sadly, local opinion was also vindicated by the coroner coming to the same conclusion that the junction is not fit for purpose and should become a roundabout.
Having arrived at that conclusion, he has taken the initiative to write to the Secretary of State for Transport requesting action. The county council appraisal of the junction also arrived at the conclusion that the best solution is a roundabout when finance can be found.
There have been various attempts to suggest alterations to the junction but by doing so it seems to confirm that it is confusing which in turn makes it dangerous.
Sooner than tinkering and creating yet more unforeseen consequences, it needs all parties, national and local, to get it into a programme of work to at least convert that particular junction into a roundabout.
The confusing, dangerous junctions, the sheer weight of traffic during parts of the day, and the growing population convince me that I will continue to lobby whenever I can for roundabouts and at least some dual carriageway - all of which would help to save lives.
District & Parish Councillor
Unreliable and dirty
The reason the buses are not being used is because they are unreliable. You can wait for ages before one turns up or it has gone before the time stated. If there is no bus shelter and it rains it’s not very good. The buses are a disgrace, filthy inside and out, not from one day. The driver told me they are washed every day. The insides have litter everywhere, despite a notice saying not to eat or drink.
A lot of people rely on the buses if they don’t drive or no longer do. If you have appointments it can be very stressful, hoping a bus turns up. It’s about time something was done about the bus station. Nothing has been done to it for years, and even visitors are surprised that it is the main station.
RELIEF ROAD PLANS
Glad Sir John is on board
I was pleased to see in last week’s Spalding Guardian that Sir John Hayes MP has added his voice to the discussion regarding the threat to people’s homes on Bourne Road, and the appalling way the residents have been treated.
It has been horrifying to watch events unfolding this last month, and I hope that Lincolnshire County Council will have a serious rethink on the ludicrous direction these plans have taken.
There was nothing substantially wrong with the original route.
It was good to hear that head of highways Coun Richard Davies has apologised to local people, through the local press, and I hope he appreciates the strength of local feeling.