Readers’ questions answered by South Holland District Council leader Coun Gary Porter
Why don’t the police seem to act on street drinking and anti-social behaviour in the town and why are the town centre drinking laws not being enforced? There are cameras all around town, plus the acts are there for all to see.
GP: I cannot answer for the police, but I have arranged to have a meeting with the new Inspector to talk through several issues that seem to be bubbling up.
I also think that when we have an elected police commissioner in November, we will see these types of complaint moving up the agenda.
What are you doing to do to stop the new wave of Croatians coming to our area when they join the EU this year, and for the Turkish to be admitted to EU in 2015? So many of our local people are having to move out of the area because they can’t get work or housing.
GP: The council is unable to stop EU citizens from coming to Spalding, only national governments can do this. The Labour government could have done this (as France and Germany did) with the last EU expansion. As for the comments about Turkey, I wouldn’t have thought that France would let them in and given the state of the EU economy compared with the Turkish economy I doubt very much they would want to come in at the moment.
What plans do the council have for clearing litter grot spots? Would they be willing to provide equipment for a clean up day, with people volunteering?
GP: Where the “grot spots” are on public land we do try to deal with as many as we can. We cannot lawfully deal with those that are on private land without going through a lengthy bureaucratic procedure. As Mr Perrin’s group (Spalding Immigration Issues) knows I have offered through the Lincolnshire Free Press to organise a litter pick session for his members and mine where all of the necessary equipment will be provided by the council.
You’ve got a couple of thousand people signed up to your cost of fuel lowering exercise. That’s great and I think you’re doing a great service for the people of South Holland, but Which? has some 60,000. So my question is: Who is likely to get the better deal from any utility company?
GP: Thanks for the kind words. I am really pleased that Which? has followed us with this. I am on a joint ministerial panel with a number of groups dealing with this where we all share ideas. The good news is the deal that we are doing will be made even better if Which? is able to help drive down the average price. People should sign up to both and take the deal that is best for them. Wherever people choose to buy from so long as they get the cheapest deal, that would be good for South Holland and that’s all I care about
There’s been a lot of discussion about “development” at the Sir Halley Stewart Playing Field. With shops empty in the town centre and ever more people buying online, what’s the point of more shops on what is supposed to be a field in perpetuity?
GP: I agree that more and more is being bought online and that successful shops are those that sell from “bricks and clicks” but businesses still feel that there is unmet demand for more and more varied shops. If the things that are being talked about for the proposed redevelopment do truly give a chance for undoing the past mistakes, I am happy to look at them. If we are able to provide a centrally located public park (that is a traditional public park, not a restricted access green space like we have at present) then I will be happy to recommend it. This could be a great opportunity to undo past mistakes and stimulate the town for the future; we would be failing the people of South Holland if we did not play an active part in looking at the possibilities.