WEEKEND WEB: Spalding Guardian letters
Your views on the historical water fountain, council tax, Brexit... and Thought For The Week
Hope it reappears soon, with a celebration
One night in May 1941, a big fire-bomb raid on Spalding destroyed a large part of the west side of the town centre (some of us are old enough to remember the occasion and the aftermath!).
Buildings from Pennington’s fine department store in Hall Place through to Woolworth’s and its neighbouring fish and chip shop (Cawthorne’s) in Bridge Street, were badly damaged or utterly destroyed. Some had makeshift repairs, but others stayed as ruins till after the war.
When re-building took place, it was a time of financial stringency, and – not surprisingly – the architectural quality of the replacements was not brilliant.
The result was a loss of character at the heart of the town. I was therefore very happy to see in the Free Press that the old drinking-water fountain is to be brought back to the town centre.
Not that we want to go all old-fashioned, and there’s not much danger of that; but a distinctive touch of the old will add back a welcome touch of character, a memorable distinctive mark that says “Spalding”.
I notice that the fountain has now been removed from Ayscoughee. I hope we shall soon see it re-appear centrally in Hall Place, with a suitable celebration, or perhaps the Market Place would be even better. With Spring on the way, we are near the best time of the year for the occasion. I hope the council soon make an announcement.
I cannot see bill being reduced in the future
I am aware of the concerns of many of our residents regarding details in our latest rates bill, and offer my own apologies (and those of Coun Doug Dickens) that we were outvoted by other councillors in our opposition to the enormous and totally unwarranted increase in the village precept.
Having considered the public assets owned by parishioners, and in view of the minor duties the council actually do undertake, it is hard to reconcile the size of the bill with the need for there to be anything other than a token precept.
Regardless of what any other councillor has written, I do not believe that grandiose plans for future developments will enable the remotest possibility for this year’s exorbitant precept to ever be substantially reduced, but that it will actually increase year on year.
I can therefore only invite all of our parishioners to take a far more proactive roll in openly confronting this most unsatisfactory state of affairs, either by contacting me or any other councillor direct.
An open forum is available on blog site ourpinchbeck.blogspot.co.uk which hopefully might inspire a genuine public meeting (not run solely by councillors ) where all opinions can be aired and considered for the genuine benefit of the majority rather than the few.
Leon B Tetherton
‘Leave’ was to take back control of our borders
It is disturbing that we have heard so little from the Labour Party and the cheerleaders of Remain about what their wish to remain in the Single Market (SM) and Customs Union (CU) will mean for Britain’s ability to control its borders and the continuation of mass uncontrolled immigration.
It is hard to pin Labour down on their Brexit policy and where they stand on the SM and CU because it changes so often. So, lets start from what we do know.
We know that Jeremy Corbyn supports having no border controls whatsoever, ie, anyone can come and live and work in the UK and claim benefits from day one. In other words zero control.
We also know that he visited the camps in Calais and Dunkirk and told the illegal immigrants there, that have incidentally not bothered to claim asylum in France, that if and when he forms a Government, they will be welcome in Britain, and no doubt without carrying out any security checks.
Labour’s current position on the SM and CU is also incompatible with controlling our borders and immigration. Membership of the SM or the CU means that Britain will be forced to accept the free movement of people, without any control over who arrives in the UK.
Some in the Remain camp have suggested that we can deport EU nationals who have become a burden on the host nation, or if they have not worked for six months. Yet, in December 2017 the High Court ruled that the removal of homeless people from EU or EEA countries is contrary to EU law and discriminatory. No doubt, as well as, being homeless, they have been out of work for some time.
If those EU nationals out of work for more than six months, or those who are not in work and sleeping rough, cannot be deported, that technically means that deportation is almost impossible. Likewise, the European commission has said EU member states have no right to deport EU citizens for being homeless and said EU citizens had a right to live in other EU countries “irrespective of whether they are homeless or not”.
In summary, this means that Labour and the pro- remain camp still support a policy of open borders and mass uncontrolled immigration without any security checks or Government accountability, and the 350,000 a year free for all can continue unabated just as before.
Labour and the Remain camp must be called to account on this, which is one of the key reasons why the British people voted Leave, ie to take back control of our borders.
The Emperor has no clothes
The March 6 letter from Craig Jackson, our self-styled “Vote Leave Constituency Co-ordinator”, offers me a unique opportunity to explain to people locally that ‘the Brexit Emperor has no clothes’.
How so? Well, first, Craig says “The World Bank and Capital Economics have produced the only truly independent analysis of the impact of a vote to Leave the EU” suggesting “the impact would be minimal.” So, let’s take a look at the credibility of the World Bank and Capital Economics on the issue of Brexit.
Clearly, Craig is confusing the World Bank with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Readers may be unaware that the World Bank, created at the same time as the International Monetary Fund (IMF), exists to provide temporary loans to low-income countries who would otherwise be unable to obtain such loans, whereas the IMF exists to foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth, and contribute to reducing poverty around the world.
I assume, when Craig says the World Bank concludes the impact of Brexit will be “minimal”, he’s referring to an obscure paper on the World Bank Group’s website entitled “Short-Term Impact of Brexit on the UK’s Export of Goods”, written by two authors whose CV’s aren’t even quoted on the World Bank’s website and who serve in the World Bank’s obscure Development Research Group’s Trade and International Integration Team.
Incidentally, their paper admits, on Page 1, that “the UK’s export of goods to the EU could drop by two percent” and goes on to explain, “This paper will not talk about services trade, “passporting”, and the role of London as the financial centre post-Brexit.”
Please be aware this paper has no status academically and refers only to the export of “goods”, not services. And, as Craig admits in his letter, “Some 90 percent of the British economy is now services.”
Craig quotes Capital Economics as another supposedly credible reference. Readers may be unaware that Capital Economics is a small, London-based firm founded by the economist, Roger Bootle. Roger Bootle is the author of a book called “The Trouble with Europe” and is one of the leading exponents of turning the UK into an offshore, tax-haven economy. Comments on Amazon go so far as to say, “Well, if this is the strongest intellectual case one can make, then God help us all.”
Thought for the Week
How are you doing with Lent this year? Sometimes we regularly see Lent as a negative experience.
It doesn’t have to be. As in many things we need to find a balance.
I came across these words from Pope Francis which I think can give us a balance of giving up things and undertaking things.
‘Fast from hurting words and say kind words.
Fast from sadness and be filled with gratitude.
Fast from anger and be filled with patience.
Fast from pessimism and be filled with hope.
Fast from worries and trust in God.
Fast from complaints and contemplate simplicity.
Fast from pressures and be prayerful.
Fast from bitterness and fill your heart with joy.
Fast from selfishness and be compassionate to others.
Fast from grudges and be reconciled.
Fast from words and be silent so you can listen.’
If we take a few minutes every day, maybe over a cup of tea, or coffee, and think about these things then maybe we will be better people and when Easter comes, we will be ready indeed to celebrate with our Risen Lord.
Rev Adrian Mason
Rector of the Mid Elloe Group of Parishes