I read with interest Lord Gary Porter’s piece on the forthcoming consultation as to whether to investigate establishing a town council for Spalding. I very much welcome this.
The last time a similar question was posed, in my naivety I did not then support the idea. Spalding was a lot smaller then, and I assumed that those elected to serve Spalding residents would actually get things done that would benefit Spalding specifically.
Comparing Spalding with Stamford, Sleaford, Bourne, Holbeach and even The Deepings that all have town councils, I now think it is to our disadvantage that we do not have one.
What town councils seem to be able to do is to offer a sense of community to the towns they serve. Our town does not even have a town noticeboard.
A town council consisting of the right people would provide a voice for Spalding that is sorely lacking. There are numerous issues that have been allowed to fester with nothing actually seemingly being done.
Take the examples of the increasingly derelict sites of the Bull & Monkie public house, the site of the old Royal Mail sorting office and the site of the old Johnson Hospital. Regardless of any political persuasion, no one could reasonably defend the fact that these buildings have been empty for so long.
A town council could surely provide a unified voice that could shame the owners of these sites into doing something with them, and failing that would be a powerful influence on the next level of local Government to take action.
As part of the Spotless Spalding campaign there are at last efforts under way to clean up the areas of railway land around the footbridges over the railway line off Park Road and St John’s Road. The state of these bridges is an embarrassment to the town.
A town council could have petitioned Network Rail publicly which would at least have sent a signal to the residents of the town that the elected representatives actually do see the same things that an ordinary person on the street does and are trying to address the issue.
I understand that it needs at least 3,471 people to support the proposed consultation and providing they are not outvoted the district council would then investigate the cost of running a town council and undertake a more in depth consultation on the issue.
I urge the townsfolk of Spalding to support this so we can all make an informed decision as to whether a town council is an effective solution.