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WEEKEND WEB: Spalding Guardian letters

Spalding Guardian cartoon, by John Elson
Spalding Guardian cartoon, by John Elson

Your views on Brexit, politics and speeding – plus Thought For The Week

Letter writer deserves a ‘Fake News’ award!

READER'S PICTURES: A grey heron, snapped by Spalding reader Malcolm Pepper in West Pinchbeck.
READER'S PICTURES: A grey heron, snapped by Spalding reader Malcolm Pepper in West Pinchbeck.

Alan Meekings’ grasp of facts is always mixed but if anything is slipping even further from reality (Free Press letters, January 16).

I had a look: the number of people in work is up by over three million since 2010 and the unemployment rate is at its lowest level since 1975.

Production has grown for the last eight months— the longest streak since 1994—and manufacturing output is at a ten year high.

This is not La-la land, Mr Meekings, but Britain, thanks to excellent leaders including our local MP who sadly isn’t in the Governemnt any more – how they will miss his common sense approach.

PS: Can I nominate Mr Meekings for one of Donald Trump’s ‘Fake News Awards?

Michael Richards


Lumbered with harmful policies

Thank you for correcting me M Meekings (Guardian letters, January 18). I understand that you are cross that Remain lost the referendum, so very convincingly in this constituency. I doubt there is anything any leaver can say that will please you.

I missed out the word “significant”, before “new laws”. Mea culpa. Whilst qualifying the statement it is admittedly open to interpretation but the basic fact that we are outvoted remains true.

Your own figures appear on a webpage fullfact.org Perhaps you would also like to look at the following one from King’s College London: ukandeu.ack/explainers/does-the-uk-win-or-lose-in-the-council-of-ministers/

It’s next to the ‘fullfact’ one and clearly shows that we, by a very big margin, lose more votes than any other nation and that the longer we remain the less influence we have.

In addition we frequently “trade” policy issues for political reasons, resulting in one area of policy against UK interests being accepted in order to avoid worse potential problems in another.

A good example is our fishing industry. It is quite impossible to measure the frequency of this ploy and the amount of harm EU policies do to us is a matter of opinion. In short, however, it’s clear that we get lumbered with policies harmful to us all the time. The point here is that once outside this would not happen. Roll on Brexit.

UKIP and other Leavers have no emotional dislike for the EU, our view is based on a wide range of different factors. I voted for the Common Market, a trade only group of a limited number of nations. The monster it’s now become is quite a different animal.

Paul Foyster

via email

More good than most MPS could dream of

Mr John Constable says he is not an “avid reader” of the excellent weekly column written our local MP, John Hayes (Free Press letters, January 16). Perhaps he should become one. He would learn just how much positive difference Mr Hayes has made.

He has done superb work locally. From working with the League of Friends to bringing our new Johnson Hospital to Spalding, fighting to save the Garth School from closure, to taking up the cause of Long Sutton shopkeepers faced with huge rate increases, John is always ready to stand up for local people.

But most of all he is acknowledged by parliamentarians on all sides as one of the most effective representatives in the Commons.

The record speaks for itself. As Skills Minister, he delivered the biggest increase in apprenticeships in modern times.

As Security Minister, he guided measures to counter terrorism and kept us safe through Parliament.

As Transport Minister, he introduced the biggest road investment programme for years (including the A1 and the A47) and revitalised the ports and shipping sector with his maritime growth strategy.

I could go on, but for now let it suffice to say that all these things – skills, security, transport – affect people in South Holland and the Deepings. John Hayes has made far more difference for the better than most MPs can ever dream of.

Andrew Livsey

via email

A calm and reasoned approach is needed

Whilst I sympathise with the ‘Nimby’ aspects of Reuben H Holmes’ letter (Guardian, January 18), they don’t bolster his argument. I intend to be more analytical and pragmatic.

As much of today’s village, including the Mountbatten Estate and Redmile Close, didn’t exist when I moved here. I feel that the effects of closing the Sugar Beet factory and Spalding Cattle Market plus today’s agricultural dependence on mechanisation were always way beyond our local government’s understanding or ability to plan for.

In truth though, our worsening health, education and social provisions, and increased traffic together with (perceived) reductions in comparative property values were always foreseeable and avoidable.

Nonetheless, we are where we are, having to face the prospect of another 4,000 houses (plus 1,000 or more spec-build ones) and unknown random light industrial units on our doorstep.

But please Mr Holmes, don’t unfairly blame the hard pressed motorist for all your problems.

Mostly, the traffic you refer to is ‘passing through’ in pursuit of business or employment, and the primary role of any road system is to shift as much traffic as possible as quickly as possible.

In your vicinity I do not believe that there is any measurable variation in noise or vibration at 30- or 40- or 50-miles-per-hour, other than the factor you haven’t included which is ‘duration’.

Essentially, one solitary car passing at 50mph on a properly maintained surface will cause less overall disturbance than it does at 30mph.

I deplore speeds of 90mph on the old main road through Cowbit but understand the virtually 70 per cent of drivers who apparently think that speeds moderately above 30mph are safely achievable.

Particularly when coming from Crowland as there are no properties to the left side of the road there anyway.

This also applies to most of Westmarsh Road between Pinchbeck and Spalding.

As I wonder whether Mr Holmes shares my lifelong motoring interests and experiences, I repeat my concerns regarding both mud on Wardentree Lane near his property, and the driving habits of some local drivers in and out of Morrisons etc etc.

Driving unduly slowly can be classified as ‘without due care and attention’ and carry a nine-point driving licence penalty.

However, I don’t intend to give dashcam evidence of such driving (and worse) to the authorities yet, as it would only empower those who are clamouring for all over-70s to have to take a new driving test.

This could prove far more disastrous for much of our elderly rural population than a few points would for Mr Holmes’ supposed ‘criminals’.

Overall, therefore, such topics deserve a calm, reasoned approach, rather than irrelevant bigotry.

Leon B Tetherton



When you have an important message to declare, it is vital to share it in a way that listeners can relate to and understand.

Jesus was a master of sharing a message, and used different methods to do so. His message was simple, yet life-changing, and He communicated it through prayer, actions, telling stories, preaching to large crowds and meeting individuals. When Jesus spoke, people listened!

In the same way, we look to convey the message that Jesus is the light of the world, Saviour to all who believe in Him, and have a couple of events coming up where that message will be shared in different ways.

Through song, we have superb young musician Chloe Reynold joining us for a gig on February 23.

Through conversation and humour, we have eminent author Jeff Lucas joining us as part of his “There are NO ordinary people” tour.

And through theatre, the ‘Searchlight Theatre Group will accompany Jeff on March 23.

These evenings will bear witness, through testimony and experience, that Christianity is powerful and relevant, and that it impacts and changes the everyday into the extraordinary.

Interested? Go to our Facebook page or website www.spaldingbaptist.org.uk to find out more.

Ben Clarke

Spalding Baptist Church


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