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South Holland and Deepings candidates answer housing questions




Readers have put forward their questions to the candidates who are hoping to win your votes on December 12.

Martin Blake (Green), Sir John Hayes (Con), Davina Kirby (Lib Dem), Mark Popple (Lab) and Rick Stringer (Ind) are campaigning for the South Holland and Deepings seat.

We have invited readers to submit their questions on important issues to be put to the five candidates.

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The latest question comes from Rodney Sadd, who asked: "Focusing on the local house building development programme thousands of houses will be built over next few decades. But bringing more people to South Holland, how will our market town centre cope and where will the real jobs come from?"

Mr Blake said: "The current South East Lincolnshire Local Plan envisages the building of many thousands of new houses in our constituency without properly addressing the infrastructure needs, such as transport, employment, shopping and leisure.

"There is an underlying assumption that new residents will either be retired, or will commute to larger urban centres for work, hence putting even more pressure on our road network.

"It represents a failure of imagination, driven largely by national house-building targets. Even worse, it envisages massive building on greenfield sites while derelict sites in town centres continue to blight our environment.

"We need a radical change of thinking, one which seems unlikely under the current regime."

While Sir John said: "All new development should be in keeping with the scale and character of our towns and villages and, wherever possible, be located on brownfield sites.

"People in Spalding feel it is unacceptable that whilst the original Johnson Hospital, the old post office and the ‘Bull and Monkey’ remain derelict, agricultural land is eaten up by development.

"Central Government must ensure that investment in housing is matched by improvements to local economies, which will be delivered by tax cuts for small and medium businesses to encourage innovation, enterprise and growth."

Mrs Kirby said: "Local house building is to satisfy market demand people come to the area for employment and then need accommodation. Liberal Democrats propose a radical change to business rates which will reduce costs for local shops and other small businesses which will go a long way to making our town centres thriving and vibrant again.

"By remaining in the EU the constituency is well placed to build on its food production and processing industry. Improved communications will make the area more attractive for many other businesses too.

"This will lift the wages from being below the national average increasing prosperity of the area and facilities. The Liberal Democrat’s community funds are intended to enhance local cohesion.

"Liberal democrats will change planning regulations to ensure that schools, doctors' surgeries, roads and other vital infrastructure are built as PART of developments not as add-ons."

Mr Popple said: "It is absolutely right to be concerned about how we manage any population increase that new housing developments bring.

"Efforts to ensure our town centres cope should include adequate transportation links such as the creation of regular new bus routes between the two to ensure increased car traffic is limited, and more local shops and amenities closer or within to these new developments.

"New roles could be brought by Labour's Green Industrial Revolution plan, providing well-paid jobs, lower energy bills and new industries to areas like ours that have been neglected for too long, and I will fight to ensure as many of those jobs that are created are brought here."

Mr Stringer said: "With the prospect of thousands of homes being built over the coming decades in South Holland and The Deepings, the least of our problems is how will it effect our market town centres.

"Given the rise of internet shopping, there is already a body of opinion that says we shouldn’t expect shops in our high street!

"It will be our hospitals, surgeries and schools that will face the brunt of this, which are already struggling.

"People always have to eat and for the foreseeable future the majority of our jobs will still be based round the food sector and agri-tech as we seek to bring the latest science based schemes and jobs to enhance productivity and give our young people challenging and interesting jobs."



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