We’ve waited long enough!
It’s five years since the Lincolnshire Free Press helped launch a campaign calling for the Chatterton Water Tower in Spalding to be cleaned up.
Today, it is as grey and grubby looking as ever – and a local councillor involved in the original campaign has written to Anglian Water asking why.
Coun Gary Taylor told the Free Press: “Hundreds of people signed a petition calling for something to be done about the water tower.
“It should be one of our landmarks, but it’s nothing more than a horrendous eyesore in the middle of the town centre.
“We are now seeing parts of the district, such as the Bull and Monkie pub in Spalding, getting cleaned up through our Pride in South Holland campaign.
“As the district councillor for the town centre, I have written to Anglian Water expressing my concerns.
“I understand cleaning up the water tower could be done for around £3,000. I find it hard to understand why, when the water authority makes a profit of £202 million, it doesn’t fund this work.
“I’m not asking Anglian Water to neglect any of the other projects it is working on in Spalding but to put some of their resources into the water tower.”
Spalding’s clean-up crusader Sandra White collected signatures for the original campaign.
She said: “Spalding should be a beautiful town but a building left in this condition is sending out the wrong message.
“Why don’t Anglian Water sell it? It could be a restaurant with a great view.”
Mrs White said she remembers clearly standing at Spalding Bus Station gathering signatures for the petition in 2010.
She said: “It didn’t take long to get enough signatures. The tower looks its worse from that side.
“It’s the first thing everyone sees when coming into Spalding to park in Holland Market.
“I’m backing Coun Taylor all the way with his letter - the town shouldn’t still be in this mess.”
When the Free Press contacted Anglian Water on Friday, a spokesman acknowledged Coun Taylor’s letter and said the authority had been discussing plans for the tower as a result.
Jim Foster, regional supply manager for Anglian Water, said: “Chatterton Tower is a famous local landmark and unique part of Spalding’s landscape. It is still a functioning water tower vital to supplying drinking water to the people of Spalding.
“We’ve earmarked some funds to carry out improvements to the appearance of the tower. This forms part of the overall funding to ensure this important site is maintained to perform its vital function and we will make sure the cosmetic work is targeted at the parts of the tower most in need.
“The way the water industry is regulated means we plan our multi-billion pound investment programmes in five year cycles. We’re approaching the beginning of a new five-year cycle now and we’re in the process of pinning down the specifics of thousands of schemes that will be delivered between 2015 and 2020, including the work on Chatterton Tower.
“In the meantime though, we will continue to ensure the area around the tower is kept as clean and tidy as possible. We have also pledged our support to the council and will be promoting its town improvement projects to our network of staff that volunteer.”