Fresh calls to rid Spalding of eyesore pub
There are fresh calls for a final solution to Spalding's eyesore pub, the Bull and Monkie, after youngsters put themselves in danger by climbing onto a flat roof.
An eyewitness believes eight or nine teenagers were drinking alcohol on the rooftop.
The graffiti-scarred building was cleaned by South Holland District Council at the end of 2014 and left looking like a fortress with a high palisade metal fence fronting Churchgate, and windows and doors boarded up with steel and wood.
But a low wall and an even lower gate-style barrier along The Vista make the former pub an easy target for intruders, and there are signs of entry via the roof and of drinking, with empty beer bottles strewn across the yard.
The Vicar of Spalding, the Rev John Bennett, said two or three tents were pitched in the Bull and Monkie yard earlier this year and there have been incidents in the past where people were seen on the roof.
He said last year CCTV cameras picked up what appeared to be drug deals, with people handing over money for packages, and police were called on a couple of occasions but weren't able to identify anyone.
Mr Bennett is alarmed by the latest report of teenagers on the roof, and said: "It's not very good to have people on the roof for their own safety rather than anything else."
The vicar longs for the day when the Bull and Monkie is redeveloped, and would like it to become a musuem.
He said: "It would enhance that area - and along with the church and Ayscoughfee Hall, it would be the heritage quarter of Spalding. That would be my absolute dream but I'm not sure where the money comes from for that."
Spalding councillor Angela Newton said the district council did its best tidying the pub and yard, and sending the bill to its owners, which she believes has now been paid.
Coun Newton agrees with Mr Bennett that it should be redeveloped and is appealing to the owner to let it go.
She said: "If they are not going to develop it, why don't they sell it or come to some arrangement with someone in town who would use it for a good end?"
Coun Newton said the public contributed thousands to build an outpatients' department at Spalding's old Johnson Hospital in 1981, and might dig deep again if a popular use is found for the Bull and Monkie.
A reader told us she spotted youngsters on the pub roof at about 8pm on Wednesday.
She said: "I can't say for sure but I think they were drinking. I couldn't believe it and I was worried for their safety. Looking back I should have called 101."
Council deputy leader Nick Worth said: "I certainly hope the police were told about it because people like that need to realise what the dangers of doing something like that are.
"The Council remains aware of concerns regarding anti-social behaviour taking place at the site of the former Bull and Monkie public house.
"We continue to actively monitor this site and have sought to engage with the owners, who recently tidied the site and secured the building.
"While the Council has received no recent reports of anti-social behaviour taking place in the area, we remain committed to tackling anti-social behaviour throughout the district.
"It is important that we are made aware of residents' concerns. We would urge anybody who wishes to report instances of anti-social behaviour to contact the Council's customer services team on 01775 761161 or to report the incident on our website at www.sholland.gov.uk/reportit"
A Lincolnshire Police spokesman said: "It does not appear that the incident has been reported directly to us. We would encourage anyone who experiences or witnesses any criminality to report on 101, or 999 in an emergency. Although the issues raised are comparatively lower level incidents such as anti-social behaviour and criminal damage, we do not underestimate the impact that such ongoing issues can have on a local community."