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'End the confusion caused by clock faces showing different times'

Residents are calling on the council to end confusion caused by three clock faces on Spalding's South Holland Centre (SHC) showing different times.

Our photographer took pictures, seconds apart, of the clock faces at 1pm on Friday ... and each showed a different time.

The clock facing Market Place.
The clock facing Market Place.

On Tuesday, as clock faces were still telling a different story, there were calls from the public for South Holland District Council to get the problem sorted.

People also wanted to know why the council hadn't found a solution when the building was recently shrouded in scaffolding for repairs.

We posed our own questions to portfolio holder Coun Gary Taylor and the council communications team.

We said: "In Boston, the council used to take enforcement action against businesses that had a 'public' clock on their buildings if they stopped or were wrong. That may have been a by-law but do you know if a similar by-law applies here, please?

"Please can you also say: 1) How much was spent on the recent SHC restoration? 2) Why the clocks weren't fixed at the same time? 3) When will the clocks be fixed? 4) How much it will cost to fix the clocks?"

Coun Taylor, portfolio holder for communities and facilities, said: "The recent work at the South Holland Centre was for building maintenance only.

"When the clock was turned back on after the work, the digital settings and the chimes were working correctly, but the clock hands have not yet synchronised. We are working to resolve this.

"The readers and our residents can make their own judgements on the questions.

"Ideally if would be great if this clock was operating correctly. I just hope the cost of making this good is not excessive, as this issue has never been raised with me, unlike many issues such as litter, waste, fly tipping and of course the bizarre decision to switch off street lights when it's dark.

"If comments are made regarding the clock at the South Holland Centre, I would be then happy to respond to them."

Residents say the clock face pointing to Beales hasn't been right for months, if not years, while the one facing Market Place has been accurate.

One shopper told us: "It would help if they all showed the same time and the correct time."

Chimes still work but remain two to three minutes ahead of the hour.

One lady gave only guarded approval for repairs, saying: "As long as it doesn't cost me too much of my council tax."

It was1.48pm but the clock facing Market Place was showing 11.55am as mum of two Katrina Newson made her comments.

Katrina, from Whaplode St Catherine, said: “I suppose it’s very misleading if you are trying to get to appointments.

“I think it would be a good idea to fix it.

“I think it would help a lot of people out so they know the right time.”

Sara Roper was working on a fruit and veg stall almost in the shadow of the South Holland Centre clock - but must rely on her mobile phone to tell the right time. She says it would be more convenient if she could just look up. “It’s just convenience,” said Sara. “And it saves time, really, instead of when you are serving customers you’re having to get your phone out to tell the time.” She also says the clock chimes at the wrong time.

Big Issue seller Dan Cornell relies on the clock facing Market Place while here on Tuesdays with pet dog Punky. He said clocks showing three different times is confusing. “I know what time it is because I’ve just asked somebody,” said Dan. “I rely on it. I’ve noticed it’s been wrong for the last few weeks. It needs fixing. It’s for everybody but that’s councillors for you. They have their own priorities.”

* What do you think? Email your readers' letters to our editor, jeremy.ransome@iliffepublishing.co.uk


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