Town rangers idea to make Spalding safer

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TOWN rangers are being considered as a way to make Spalding safer and more attractive to shoppers.

A pot of money offered by Holland Market developers to regenerate the town centre could be used to fund the patrols, which would tackle litter, street drinking and anti-social behaviour.

The £100,000 was originally earmarked to tackle a perceived problem of empty shops, but after further consideration Spalding and District Area Chamber of Commerce now believes the money could be put to better use as Spalding’s vacancy rate is minimal.

Chamber president Jason Rooke said: “One thing that has become clear recently is that Spalding town centre does not have a big problem with empty shops so we believe the money could be better spent.

“Town rangers are an idea that certainly has merit and could offer good value of money for Spalding town centre.

“This £100,000 is being offered by Corbo to spend for the benefit of Spalding as part of the plans to redevelop Holland Market.

“It’s effectively section 106 money but instead of it going to the council to decide how it’s spent, we are going to be able to have a say, which I welcome.

“The rangers could have a variety of roles such as enforcing any drinking ban we can bring in and helping to clean up to make the town more attractive to shoppers and visitors and make people feel safer while they are here.”

The idea has been welcomed by South Holland district councillor Roger Gambba-Jones, who said he has been trying to get town rangers introduced for more than ten years as he feels they could play an important role in the town centre.

He said: “It is something I have put forward for debate at Spalding town forum to explore the possibilities of taking it forward as an initiative.

“In my view it’s one of the shortcomings of market towns like Spalding that there in no one on the ground to talk to people and tackle anti-social activity and flag up problems to other agencies such as the police.”