Concentrate on community schemes and draw a veil over marina project

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The two correspondents in the Spalding Guardian, writing about the marina, have missed the main point.

Were it not for the presence of my colleague Eddy Poll at the meeting, we would have learned precisely zilch. I was quite disturbed to find that questions asked both by parish councillors and members of the public remained unanswered, and in some cases, the officers present appeared not to know what was happening.

Local government tends not to do these things very well. We have recently had the fiasco over the Red Lion Quarter in Spalding and the vast overspend on the travellers’ site beside the A151 at Holbeach.

Are the councils about to repeat the same mistake in another place? We remain concerned that an extra £150,000 was thrown at the project, despite the parish council being assured such action would not happen without further consultation.

The proposal is to throw over half a million pounds at a project which the proposers told us at a meeting last autumn was unviable.

We recall the floods of 1978, and yet I was criticised by a director of this company for suggesting the original plan envisaged removing an inland portion of the new sea defences erected in 1979. That suggests that they haven’t even taken the trouble to look at the plans for the marina which they might inherit.

The rise in sea level/drop in the land is 10mm per annum. That is over a yard a century, and my contention that raising of the sea defences will soon become an issue remains.

They now propose using the almost-level part of the sea bank towards the port of Sutton Bridge, in a position divorced from the marina itself.

Many things need doing in Sutton Bridge even now. The churchyard is almost full, there needs to be a new pavilion, and there needs to be a proper provision of youth facilities.

Each or all of these could be got off the ground quickly, and would benefit local people in huge numbers, far more than an unviable marina, of little or no use to anyone in the community.

As to the enhancement scheme mentioned by Mrs Hills, objections were raised very early on which drew attention to the exact shortcomings, dangers, and likelihood of serious accidents which ensued.

Had a halt been called then, the huge expense of partially righting a grave error could have been avoided.

Apart from the directors, and your two correspondents, I have heard nobody who agrees with the spending of this vast sum on a project whose current business plan is years and years out of date.

The time has come to draw a decent veil over the project, and concentrate on schemes which will benefit the wider community of Sutton Bridge.


District and county

councillor for Sutton