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WEEKEND WEB: Free Press letters

Gosberton Risegate reader Mark Joy visited Wales last month to search for a rare fungi, Geastrum elegans (Elegant Earthstar). British Mycological Society Fungal Records Database of Britain reports only 19 sightings since 1892, with the last in 2011.
Gosberton Risegate reader Mark Joy visited Wales last month to search for a rare fungi, Geastrum elegans (Elegant Earthstar). British Mycological Society Fungal Records Database of Britain reports only 19 sightings since 1892, with the last in 2011.

Your views on politics, Holbeach and Glenfield heart hospital

In 50 years of following, I’ve never seen such a mess

John Elson's Free Press cartoon
John Elson's Free Press cartoon

Mr Hayes (local MP John), please stop quoting the likes of Elliot and his ethereal and utterly irrelevant drivel that has no place in the modern world. Study Feynman…

There’s no such thing as a certainty and all opinions are subjective (and politicians are typicality more subjective than most. But that’s only my opinion).

You continually harp on about law as if it’s the be-all and end-all of everything that matters. Isn’t parliament’s primary responsibility to ensure our health, safety and standard of living? Does public sector spending come from the law, or infrastructure investment, emergency services response times, or CPS and prison funding, or welfare reform, or tax avoidance? No, wait, the last two do come from legislation…

Universal Credit legislation has left many recipients with significant cash-flow problems, forcing increasing numbers to borrow from loan sharks that impose obscene interest charges and use similar tactics to recoup late payment I witnessed on the streets during the 60. Then the bullies were at the front door, now they’re using heartless government legislation to recoup. Nothing has changed. We still have vicious people preying on the disadvantaged that government has done little to protect.

Recent tax avoidance legislation that will only recoup a paltry £200million whilst successive governments have done little to bludgeon tax havens under British influence into relinquishing their client lists. My guess is that would reveal British citizens either owing the Exchequer billions or subject to criminal prosecution. Decades to deal with this injustice and we’re only just seeing token attempts. Yet another example of us mere mortals being sacrificed at the expense of the obscenely rich.

Mr Hayes, you profess to be a bastian of our legal system but you and your cohorts have failed miserably imposing legislation that prevents the likes of sporting hero’es dodging VAT, corporations not paying their fair whack and members of the House of Lords ducking their financial obligations. You all appear to be more interested in screwing the poor rather than tackle injustice.

Anyway, who am I to question government reluctance? After all, I didn’t go to the right school, have no political influence nor make party contributions.

Repealing and amending law is just one facet of parliament’s duty of care and its pathetic track record really does question competence and ethical standards.

All I can see is the downward spiral of our international prestige, our credit rating, our purchasing power, our projected growth, our funding of the CPS and prison service, plus rising inflation and an increasing number of businesses deserting the country.

We’re faced with the single biggest issue since the Second World War and all we appear to have is an imploding government, littered with second rate politicians and unethical members; quietly vying for power at the expense of what’s good for the country, plus ignorant, jingoistic, self-opinionated MPs that can’t manage everyday matters let alone deliver a successful Brexit. Rank amateurs dabbling where they simply don’t have the expertise.

Half a century following politics and I’ve never seen such a mess. Rule Britannia Mr Hayes? What a joke. Private Frazer got it right.

Andrew MacDonald


My ideas to improve the town and its High Street

Residents of Holbeach, over the last 12 to 18 months you will have read within the pages of this newspaper articles relating to the future of development within our area.

You will have seen grandiose plans, at election time, by local politicians talking of linking Park Road through to the High Street of the town. Planning applications submitted for approximately 2,600 new houses all around the town. These applications have been met with various negative cries from politicians at all levels, national, district and parish.

What we maybe ought to have done and possibly still could is review where we are at. There are two main points that consistently crop up:

1. The town cannot cope with more development, the schools cannot, the dentist cannot, the doctors cannot.

2. What can be done about the High Street – it’s a mess.

I would therefore like to suggest that both of the above could be answered quite easily:

1. Medical and dental facilities could be created within the site of the now-empty South Holland District Council depot. The area of land could acommodate a new doctors surgery and all of the parking required with maybe an overflow of parking on the community centre car park. The creation of 2,600 new homes will provide a compelling case for NHS funding to support the proposal.

2. Lincolnshire County Council, our education facility providers, should be made to set aside an area of land on their Peppermint Junction 900 new homes site. This should be non-negotiable. As should any education site proposed for the land off Wignals Gate. All new developments should contribute the same amount towards education.

3. The High Street. Each new plot created for the town should contribute to a central fund that is administered by the parish council – 2,600 plots contributing £1,000 is £2.6million, £2,000 per plot is £5.2million.

Now that the improvements to the bypass are done can we explore making the HIgh Street one way along with Barrington Gate(which is virtually one way anyway)? This would allow us to create some more parking next to the shops, giving them a chance of competing with Long Sutton, Market Deeping and Crowland.

Maybe we could develop the desire to relocate the parish council’s offices further. Firstly, why do we think an area of land (band building) that can take two houses is worth £29, 000 – £50,000 would be more realistic. Why not convert the existing office into four flats and take the rent each month.

Let’s look at the High Street. The building that brings the town down the most is the Chequers pub. Compulsory purchase it, turn the bottom into retail space, using one side for the council offices and make the other available to rent. Alter the remaining floors into residential flats, use the rent from all to pay down the mortgage used to buy them. Upgrade and convert the ballroom to the rear and let the town band use it. Tidy the car park and let people park in it for free.

Consider buying and renovating any other empty buildings – the former bakery, Barclays etc: flats above, retail units below. Let these retail units at a cheap rent to give business start ups a chance to make a go of something. Make all car parking in the town free.

Come on people of Holbeach, let’s get stuck into the High Street before we go for unachieveable schemes.

Des Ford

Local builder

Congratulations to all who fought to save Glenfield

The seriously good and welcome news that the congenital heart centre in Glenfield Hospital, Leicester, has been saved is immensely welcome and long overdue.

The long battle to keep heart surgery at Glenfield has finally been successful after many unsettling reports, consultations and false starts.

I would like to pay tribute to the many, many people: members of the public, doctors, nurses, parents of seriously unwell children, adults with serious cardiac problems, members of the Health Scrutiny Committees of the East Midlands, especially Lincolnshire, who did not give up the fight, but kept arguing the (now) unanswerable case for keeping one of the best heart centres in the United Kingdom, and one of the leading ones in a number of fields.

We all owe them an enormous, heartfelt “thank you very much”, not least the-then chairman of the Health Scrutiny committee for Lincolnshire, Christine Talbot, who made this her personal battleground, on behalf of us all, for (is it really) seven years.

Had the campaign been unsuccessful, people within Lincolnshire might have had to travel to Birmingham, Leeds, London, Newcastle or Southampton.

I would like to add my “well done and thank you” to the thousands of people who did not give up the fight. It just goes to show that keeping going in a campaign, sometimes brings results for the benefit of all concerned.

Chris Brewis

District and County Councillor


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