We all need a holiday at some point and, unfortunately mine, which happened to be booked many months ago, coincided with Holbeach Parish Council and its public debate on the market and Boston Road car park.
I make a real effort to attend most, if not all, parish council meetings, but do usually miss the August one because of holidays.
I was, therefore, rather disappointed that, having given my apologies, this was not made clear at the meeting.
I was, however, kept well briefed on the issue, as were the three district councillors for Holbeach.
At this point, I would like to point out that I am not a district councillor for the Holbeach ward, but am the county councillor for Holbeach and attend in that capacity.
Councillors have a duty to the whole of South Holland, not just their ward and portfolio holders make decisions across the district, which is why a Spalding councillor can make a decision on Holbeach and I can make decisions on Spalding or any other town.
My understanding is that the meeting was very well attended, with people understandably wanting to put their views across to the council officers and the portfolio holder, Roger Gambba-Jones.
As one of the ward members, it would seem to me that Paul Foyster is trying to make political capital out of it and is suggesting that an odd speed bump and some extra bollards will satisfy the majority of safety concerns.
Not only is he wrong on this, as they clearly wouldn’t satisfy safety concerns, but he made it clear to the officer that he was supportive of dividing the car park in two and supportive of the market move. Clearly he is saying one thing to the officer and another to suit the public mood.
In his letter to the Lincolnshire Free Press on August 23, Cllr Foyster goes on to say that there “is now no way the district council can pretend to be ignorant of how we (the public or Cllr Foyster?) feel about its decisions”.
I should remind him that the only way a decision can be made by members is through a portfolio holder’s report, a report to cabinet or full council, of which he is a member.
No report has yet been received and no decision therefore made.
When the report does come, it will take into account all feedback, including verbal comments, letters, emails, the parish council meeting and results from the trial scheme. That will, in turn, inform the decision that is made.
I would encourage people to give their views via the district council’s website at www.sholland.gov.uk or with a letter so that we can get a rounded view of everyone’s opinions.
Letters, like the one from Stephen Cole in the Lincolnshire Free Press on August 30, are most helpful in gauging public opinion, which we will consider along with other suggestions.
For me, the main issue as the county councillor is the extra pressure this will put on the traffic lights, for which informal discussions have already taken place.
I will be working with the highways department at the county council to ensure we get the best possible solution, one of which may be to introduce a right filter for Park Road, which, in my opinion, is much needed in any case.
We were going to look at these issues once the roundabout at Peppermint Junction was completed (construction work is due to start in March or April of next year), as well as putting a weight restriction on Spalding Road at that point.
I see no harm, however, in bringing the light issue forward, as clearly the number of cars cutting through Boston Road car park has led to a wrong figure being used when looking at how many cars use the lights and how they are set up.
The lights themselves have sensors that allow the lights to stay on green as long as cars are passing over the sensor, which means that while you may have large queues in any one direction, the majority will get through at the first attempt. A right filter can only help improve that flow on Park Road.