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WEEKEND WEB: Free Press letters

Phyllis Willerton with husband James, son Jim and daughter Alice.
Phyllis Willerton with husband James, son Jim and daughter Alice.

Views on Brexit and planning plus memories of a tragic war death

Wife and mother was killed during bombing raid

READER'S PHOTO: A carrion crow in West Pinchbeck. By Malcolm Pepper of Spalding.
READER'S PHOTO: A carrion crow in West Pinchbeck. By Malcolm Pepper of Spalding.

Reading about the new war memorial , I thought I would submit this letter about a civilian wife and mother killed in Spalding during WW2

During May 1941 my father’s mother Phyllis Willerton (nee Grocock) was one of the civilians of Spalding killed during the German bombing raids.

Aged just 31-years-old, she was killed close to her home on Alexandra Road – leaving her husband James and 11-year-old son also called James (Jim ) and 10 -year-old daughter Alice ( Sis ).

My father later recalled arriving home from school to find out his mother had been killed by flying shrapnel and being asked if he wanted to see her. He went upstairs to see Phyllis one last time, who was laid out in a bedroom.

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

James Snr was oversees in service and the two children went to live with their grandmother in Ayscough Avenue.

Being a tough little boy, with his younger sister to look out for, I don’t think he was able to grieve for the loss of his mother at that time. I remember coming home one day in 1971, when I was also 11-years-old, and finding my dad crying. I thought something awful must have happened, but mum explained it was the 30th anniversary of my grandmother’s death.

Phyllis Willerton is among the civilians killed in WW2 remembered on the memorial in Spalding Parish Church.

Mark Willerton

via email

Whichever way I vote I cannot please everyone

With reference to the article last week regarding the outline planning application for 215 houses off Seagate Road / Wisbech Road, Long Sutton there are a few points I would like to respond to.

Over 95 per cent of planning applications are determined by officers under delegated powers.

Certain applications are referred to the chairman’s panel by case officers, once they have made their determination, if there are still unresolved minor objections.

This is used as a final quality check process, not a decision making panel. Ward members are invited to attend and comment and if the panel members remain concerned, the officers are asked to review the comments.

When an application is presented to the planning committee, members are provided with a report with details of the application including comments from ward members, summarised comments from residents, comments from statutory consultees such as the highways, The Local IDB, and Anglian Water.

Parish councils are not statutory consultees, but are always consulted on applications within their parish.

I attended the public meeting prior to the parish council meeting to listen to residents’ concerns and also to answer questions and to try to give an insight into the complicated process of planning and what are and aren’t considered to be viable reasons for refusal of any application presented to the committee.

As Mr Dickinson mentioned, local authorities are under pressure to build new houses to accommodate an ever-growing population to meet demands from central government and to meet the five-year housing land supply requirements.

The planning committee works within the national and local planning policies in our Local Plan, not party politics.

Even though we may not wish to support a particular application, without valid planning reasons, a refusal would not stand up at an appeal, potentially costing the tax payer a large amount of money.

It’s indeed a fact that it is the people of Long Sutton, Lutton and Tydd St Mary that elected me to represent them, an honour for which I will be forever thankful.

Mr Dickinson is indeed a resident of my ward, so is the applicant, unfortunately meaning that whichever way I vote on the night I cannot please everyone, which is a difficult decision that I by no means take lightly.

It is decisions like this that will shape the future of our town and I would like to assure you all that once presented to me I will read the report thoroughly and base my vote on the facts and take on board and put forward concerns from residents.

We will be holding our ‘councillor surgery sessions’ at the Market House, Long Sutton between 4.30pm and 6pm on March 9, April 20, June 1 and July 13. If there is anything you would like to discuss with us please feel free to pop along.

Laura Eldridge

District Councillor for Little Sutton, Long Sutton, Lutton and Tydd St Mary

Not told we’d be worse off

Michael Roberts (Readers’ View, January 25) nominates me for “a Fake News Award” on the basis that he, personally, sees no signs of any adverse impacts on the UK economy following the Leave vote.

So, let me quote just a few examples: (1) The pound has fallen in value by roughly 20 per cent against the dollar and the euro; (2) We are now at the bottom of the league in terms of real wage growth across 32 OECD countries­; (3) In 2016, the UK was enjoying the fastest rate of economic growth among all the G7 nations, whereas, today, we’re at the bottom of this league table too.

Michael fails to mention two things. First, world economic growth is again blossoming, especially in the other EU27 nations, and this helps bolster our economic performance. Second, and more importantly, we haven’t actually left the EU, which is when the serious damage to our economy will start. If Michael doesn’t believe me, all he needs to do is to take a look at our government’s latest post-Brexit analysis, which was leaked to the media and reportedly shows all forms of Brexit will result in our country being worse off.

Specifically, this leaked document tells us that, whereas David Davis previously promised a free trade deal with the US would lift bilateral trade by 40 per cent, our Brexit-driven government now expects the benefit of a potential US trade deal to amount to just 0.2 per cent of GDP.

In contrast, our domestic economy has already declined by four times this percentage since 2016, just on the prospect of Brexit, rather than its reality. Also Wilbur Ross, the US commerce secretary, has already stated that any deal will mean opening our market to US GMO crops, chlorine-washed chicken and antibiotic-and-growth-hormone-laden meat, produced in deplorable Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs).

During the referendum campaign, Leavers were promised the “sunlit uplands of prosperity” and “£350 million a week” extra for the NHS after Brexit. They were not told they’d be worse off. They were also promised the “the exact same terms”, “the easiest trade deal in history”, “they need us more than we need them”, etc – none of which have proven to be true.

Moreover, although die-hard Conservative and UKIP Brexiteers have had over 40 years to work out what sort of Brexit deal they wanted, the reality is Theresa May’s Cabinet still cannot agree on what they want to negotiate with the EU.

Alan Meekings

via email


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