A Spalding resident is concerned not even an Easter TV advertising campaign will attract people back to the town centre until something is done to rid the streets of drinkers and rubbish once and for all.
Dog walker Bert Collins says work has started on the controversial conversion of The Station Gates pub into an Eastern European food store selling alcohol and believes it will only add to the problem.
I was at a concert in Lincoln and was told the advert had been seen and people would be visiting the town.Town centre manager Dennis Hannant
Mr Collins, of Matmore Gate, said: “I’ve spoken to a lot of people in the area and they are appalled nothing seems to be done to limit the number of alcohol licences being issued.
“The licence application to South Holland District Council was to sell alcohol from 8am to midnight. I’m amazed it’s being allowed.
“We have a TV ad over Easter encouraging people to come to Spalding and it shows all the best bits – people arriving by water taxi, shopping in the market and a cafe culture.
“What are they going to think when they come across beer cans and rubbish everywhere and people drinking and urinating in the streets.
“This is not the kind of image we want to be sending out.”
According to the police, between Good Friday and Bank Holiday Monday, there were five reported incidents in Spalding in the alcohol related category.
These were two reports of street drinking in Gore Lane on Saturday, an incident at a nightclub, a report of a drunken man near the riverbank on Sunday and a report on the Monday of a group waiting for a taxi in Red Lion Street.
However early signs of footfall in the town centre indicate the incidents are unlikely to be witnessed by newcomers attracted by the TV advert.
Dennis Hannant, town centre manager, said: “I have been in town and talked to a number of retailers and there seems to have been no significant increase of trade over the weekend. But then most of the independents were closed.
“I think people need time to react to it. I was at a concert in Lincoln and was told the advert had been seen and people would be visiting the town.
“As for concerns about the new Eastern European shop selling alcohol, if there was just one in town the people who street drink and urinate in people’s gardens would be queuing up outside it. Shops need the alcohol to make them pay. Would residents rather there were 24 empty shops?”