Letters to the Lincolnshire Free Press and Spalding Guardian editor – May 12 and 14, 2020
Thanks Angela for all you have done for us
I am sure anyone who regularly travels along Park Road in Spalding will be pleased to see that at last works have started to repair the road subsidence that has caused problems for so long.
It’s an unfortunate fact that councils frequently need reminding of their responsibilities and I am certain that had it not been for Coun Angela Newton’s influence, the works would not have been carried out for some time.
Readers will have seen that Angela has also recently been responsible for reversing South Holland District Council’s decision to close Ayscoughfee Gardens and the reopening of the cemetery.
Fortunately, Angela is an independent councillor so she is not obliged to follow the party line and is only interested in representing her local residents and this often means rattling a few cages, much to the annoyance of some of her fellow councillors.
Once the coronavirus pandemic is under control, prospective candidates will be sending out their polling leaflets seeking our support in voting for them during the local elections.
I would respectfully suggest that all of those candidates take a long hard look at Angela’s very long and distinguished time she has spent serving the local community.
Most residents are not interested in local party politics or indeed in the district council’s apparent campaign to solve the national housing shortage on its own by building on every piece of available land in the district.
What most residents want is a councillor who is prepared to represent their interests and look after and protect the district as Angela has done during her long and distinguished time serving her community.
Thank you Angela for all you do for the local residents.
Working weekend raised £262
Last year the annual Fenland Working Weekend event that took place in late summer suffered extreme bad weather on the last day, like so many other events that also suffered.
However, despite this, we are pleased to announce that £262.40p was raised and as usual is being donated to the local Holbeach Hospital.
The proceeds in past years have been given in a presentation event such as the hospital’s summer fete but due to the current coronavirus situation, the donation will be sent on direct.
It would not be possible to stage this event without help and so we would like to thank LFP, the Doubleday Group and A Woods Agricultural, the many tractor and farming enthusiasts who took part plus the general public who came along and supported the event held in Holbeach last September.
With the general current uncertainty of staging all types of events this year, an announcement will be made regarding this year’s event in due course.
Andrew French & Alan Thorpe
A veteran’s memories from the Far East
Serving in the Royal Air Force (RAF) with 342 Mobile Wing at a landing strip on Ramree Island, southern Burma (now Myanmar), I jumped on board the mail plane bound for India.
Once a week, a supply-dropping Dakota aircraft was hopefully spared to fly to Dum Dum Airport, Kolkota (formerly Calcutta), India.
It took about 500 miles to carry the mail from the wing landing strip and collect it from homes.
On board, the aircraft contained two RAF airmen, their mailbags and myself.
With about three hours to go before the return flight to Burma, I made my way to Chowringhee in the centre of Kolkota.
Once there I found everyone looking gloomy and despondent so, after a while, I asked a fellow airman: “Why is everyone looking so glum?”
He said: “Haven’t you heard? The Nazi Germans have packed in.”
No doubt the local population had heard and realised that after six years, their good time of prosperity could soon end.
That was because both the American Army and the Allied Forces had used Kolkota as a staging post before going on to Burma, spending a lot of money on souvenirs, food and entertainment in India where the houses of ill repute (prostitution) prospered.
Back at the Dum Dum Airport landing strip in the evening, there was nothing to celebrate – just another day in the battle against the Japanese and, if you were lucky, a letter from home.
It’s an ideal time to get on your bikes
Pedals (Spalding’s Cycle Action Group) applauds the recent announcement by the Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, setting out the Government’s plans for encouraging more walking and cycling.
This announcement accelerates Westminster’s strategy for promoting walking and cycling (together they are called ‘Active Travel’).
Some recent initiatives seem to us to have concentrated on cities. We are thrilled that Mr Shapps talks about towns and cities.We hope that an exciting time for Spalding’s cyclists and pedestrians is on its way.
This is part of a long-term shift towards active travel; it is not just the Government’s short-term response to the transport issues which have arisen from the COVID-19 crisis.
Many journeys in Spalding are of less than two miles. This is an ideal opportunity to make journeys by bicycle or on foot to such places as schools, the industrial estate, the town centre and the sports centre safer, healthier, and more welcoming.
We are looking forward to working with Lincolnshire County Council as it draws up its plans in response to the Government’s initiative and requirements, offering our local knowledge, experience and opinions.
Pedals – Spalding’s Cycle Action Group
Stopped for the first time
The National Garden Scheme has stopped all openings for the foreseeable future, the first time in its long history, because of coronavirus.Even the war didn’t stop them.
The money they raise for so many good causes will be affected tremendously.So, they have started a website of virtual visits to members’ gardens: ngs.org.uk/virtual-garden-visits
Alan Titchmarsh has his garden on there, and his quote is so apt, He said: “Our gardens... they offer us a sheet anchor in times of turmoil - never more so than this year.
There were better ways of using Section 106 money
I would like to re-enforce Mr Brandon- King’s concerns (Letters, April 28).
The matter of Sutton Bridge marina has the makings of a major financial scandal as some £260,000 of Section 106 money has been sunk into the project, with nothing to show for our money.
Though it opened in September 2017, no proper accounts have been produced and not a noticeable penny of the promised £200,000 annually for local spendinghas come our way.
The whole project, led by Lincolnshire County Council, was paid for out of public money and there is no accountability whatsoever for this expenditure which totalled £966, 678. Who was responsible for this misspending of our money?
Christopher Brewis, who is a Lincolnshire county councillor, a district councillor and a Sutton Bridge parish councillor, was a keen supporter of the project.
Money was there (after the Curlew Centre had been built) and Sutton Bridge badly needed a new sports pavilion (as it still does) for the benefit of a large part of our community.
Instead of proposing and pushing that project, Coun Brewis opted for the marina which is in fact only a set of muddy moorings, with none of the facilities normally associated with a marina and for which the users pay a full commercial rent.
It is of negligible value to our community. Whilst Coun Brewis played a role in negotiating the initial Section 106 (power station) money, how it was spent should not have been unduly influenced by one individual.
The issue is still very much alive because Sutton Bridge should see something back from our investment and Coun Brewis should now admit that there would have been better ways of using our Section 106 money .
This letter is written in a personal capacity. It is not written for or on behalf of the parish council. It may or may not represent the views of other parish councillors. It is intended to give our community an opportunity to be informed on the matter.
POEM: Back to square one (the Virus)
Weare the birds that sing,
We are the clouds that bring
the rain to feed the earth.
We are the fish that swim,
In polluted seasandbring
the plastic to your eyes.
But now the earth can start to heal,
A deadly virus is the deal,we pay
For mother nature to have her way.
Will we have learned a single thing,
Will we forget the birds that sing.
Once people rush, and spread again,
Will we have learneda loss or gain.
But people never learn we know,
Even when the cold winds blow.
And we are full of fear.
Once this danger has passed away,
And we have lived another day,
With our memories fading slow,
And back to square one we will go .