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Lincolnshire readers share views on A1 grass cutting, bin collections and fall into pothole





Readers have had plenty to say on what’s in the news.

Here we share some of the letters, emails and comments that have come in over the week, including this Father’s Day cartoon from John Elson.

Don’t forget, you can always get in touch by emailing news@lincsonline.co.uk

John Elson's cartoon is sponsored by the Assist Group
John Elson's cartoon is sponsored by the Assist Group

It is tough for town businesses

Three broken shop windows in Stamford: Café Black, Scrivens and W H Smiths, plus six empty shop units. Link this to the British Retail Consortium report in May which said high streets in all parts of the UK are suffering from fewer shoppers. Oxford Street-London, Peterborough, Grantham and Stamford are all showing the same signs of businesses under stress and closing down. Yet in their latest proposals for increasing parking charges in South Kesteven the District Council says only ’ Grantham town centre is suffering from business loss so needs support’, it is being offered a sweetheart deal of 2 hours free parking across the town. When are our South Kesteven District Councillors going to realise that it is just as tough for businesses in Stamford. There is very little free parking in Stamford and it is limited to one hour, Stamford too should get the two hours of free parking.

Consider this, if only Grantham gets the two hours free parking in the council run car parks it will mean only in Stamford will local town and village residents have to pay to shop or to meet up with a friend for coffee. Only in Stamford will you have to pay to attend a church service, a wedding, baptism or funeral. Only in Stamford will you have to pay to attend an event at The Arts Centre, the Corn Exchange or a church hall. Stamford has a thriving civic community and amongst its many groups are, but to name a few, Stamford Amateur Musical Society, Woven Chords, Stamford Civic Society, the U3A , the Shoestring Theatre Company. They all depend on the central Stamford church halls and venues, yet only in Stamford will you have to pay for parking to attend a rehearsal or event, in Grantham it would be free. All of the events mentioned above require more than an hour car parking.

Earlier this month the Shop Stamford group released its shopping map and new booklet on the shops and businesses in Stamford. Yet again it is a Stamford voluntary organisation which has arranged for the information to be collated and printed, all arranged without the support of South Kesteven District Council. When are South Kesteven District Council going to stop milking Stamford for parking fees and start supporting its residents and businesses? When are elected Councillors going to stand up for Stamford and stop the unfairness where 80% of parking fees paid in the District come from Stamford. How can it be considered fair to charge, each year, Stamford and its surrounding village residents £797,000 when the whole of the rest of the district, including Grantham, only pays £175,000.

Roland Higgins

Roman Mill Gardens, Stamford

Event was a huge success

I had the pleasure of being designated event manager at the recent event on Stamford Rec to commemorate the 80th anniversary of D-Day. I would like to thank all who supported this successful event, including all who volunteered, participated and helped on the day, the town council staff working behind the scenes and everyone who came to enjoy the music and witness the commemoration of this very special day.

I would also like to respond to a letter that appeared in your paper on June 14. Contrary to the writer's statement that only four town councillors attended the event, at least 10 Stamford Town Councillors attended at some point during the event, to my knowledge. Some volunteered as stewards or participated in the event, others attended with their family and friends. Many of the town councillors, including the mayor, are working people who may not be able attend an event on a particular evening due to work commitments. Others have health and family issues that may prevent them attending, and I believe one councillor was even moving house that day! As this event had come quite soon after the new Mayor's election, he had a prior commitment and was disappointed not to be able to attend. However, the deputy mayor, Councillor Amanda Wheeler, opened the event and was there throughout.

The new civic and community commitee of Stamford Town Council have many exciting events planned for the coming year and I hope the residents of Stamford and beyond will come and enjoy them with us!

Coun Lisa Brewin

Vice chairperson civic and communities committee - Stamford Town C

Liberal Democrat Stamford Town Councillor

Thank you for gifts

I would like to say a big thank you to one of my residents in the Belmont ward. Matthew Ash has been giving gifts of food to random neighbours. I think this needs to be recognised.

For me, and I'm sure I speak for the Belmont ward, he is a star. This is how community spirit should be.

Councillor Elvis Stooke

South Kesteven District Councillor (Ind - Belmont Ward)

Support made event possible

The trustees of the Grantham Journal Children's Fund would like to express a sincere thanks to the following for all of their help at our SUNday FUNday on June 9, held at Wyndham Park.

Without their help the event would not have been possible and so we are truly grateful.

We would like to thank: Alison Lewis (South Kesteven District Council's events engagement officer), Melton Mowbray Building Society, Wyndham Park volunteers, Grantham School of Dancing, the Beth Cresswell School of Dance, Carousel Road Show, Denzil and team, Jeff Dixon, Kathy and Graham, Vicky Taylor, the helpers from Grantham Disabled Children Society, Darryl Blair, Steven Knight, Paul Abraham, Imogen, Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue and first aiders from St John Ambulance.

We would also like to extend a very special thanks to Mick Eldred.

The Grantham Journal Children's Fund is a registered charity, also known as the Christopher Buckingham Appeal, which gives financial help to families living in the Grantham area with a child who has a disability or life-threatening illness.

Any family in need of help can get in touch by emailing gjchildrensfund@gmail.com

Roy Wright, Marie Bond, Sharon Evans and Rosemary Dixon

Grantham Journal Children’s fund trustees

A52 grass needs a cut

I have just driven back from Bottesford to Barrowby on the A52 (Monday, June 17). At the right hand filter to turn in to Barrowby, the grass on the divider is now so long that it is not possible to see if anything is coming from the left. I just narrowly avoided a collision. I went to the Lincolnshire County Council site to report the problem and it has already been highlighted by three people, the first over two weeks ago.

Someone is going to be killed if it is not sorted quickly.

Alan Rycroft

Barrowby

I fell like Pat

Following your report of Pat Simpson injuring herself after a fall at Grantham bus station I would like to inform your readers of the dangers of walking in that area.

On January 8 I suffered a displaced fracture of my left wrist after tripping over a loose brick at the queueing area near stand one.

After reporting the incident I received the same response as Pat - SKDC "had not been made aware of any trip hazard in the area".

Well, they are aware now, and six months down the line the loose brick is still there, as is, no doubt, Pat's pothole.

Just saying, SKDC Just saying.

Lyn Hogan

Melbourne Road, Grantham

Footpath is not suitable

I thank Lynda North for her reply to my letter.

The footpath alongside the A607 between Belton Lane and Manthorpe village, in my opinion, is not suitable as a joint pedestrian / cycle path and could be in conflict with rule H1 of the 2022 Highway code. I use joint pedestrian/cycle paths and, as a pedestrian, I do not feel safe using them. I feel less safe using paths where pedestrians and cyclists are separated by a single painted white line. I also do not favour more cyclists being asked to use pedestrian footpaths.

Footpaths are, in many case, not continuous along one side of roads and require cyclists, and pedestrians, to keep crossing the road. Perhaps cyclists find that using the road is more convenient than using footpaths where they have to cross busy roads. Crossing roads can be more dangerous for cyclists than cycling along the road.

The obvious solution is to build dedicated cycle paths. For me a dedicated cycle path is a path that is not physically connected to a pedestrian footpath. Can the Lincolnshire residents afford the cost of dedicated cycle paths? The answer is no. The Lincolnshire Highways Department will, as normal, treat pedestrians as second class road users. The Lincolnshire Road Safety Partnership will continue to show a lack of interest in pedestrian safety.

D Turgoose

Hawksdale Close, Grantham

Shocked by claims

This weekend, I finally tracked down an election leaflet from the Conservative Party. I will be honest, I was not expecting to agree with the MP who did hold the seat for Grantham and Stamford on much. However, I was shocked by the brazen nature of his claims. There on the front page was the statement "Improved local healthcare services" next to a large tick. But, when he was elected in 2019, we had a fully functioning Accident and Emergency Unit at Grantham Hospital. Now it has been downgraded to an Urgent Treatment Centre. How is that an improvement? Clearly it is nothing of the kind. During the last four years, our MP has kept quiet on Grantham Hospital, even though he was actually a junior health minister for part of that time.

Inside the leaflet, there is the obligatory photo of candidate-posing-outside-the-hospital. But this must be an old photo, as it still has the red stripe on the sign, advertising the A&E Unit that is not there any more. It got replaced by a yellow stripe advertising the Urgent Treatment Centre last year. Has he noticed? Does he care? Who knows. As he never says anything, I suppose technically we do not know what he is actually thinking. But it doesn't look good.

Name and address supplied

Bin collections are a farce

I'd just like to highlight the farce that SKDC bin collections have become.

If you don't have room for wheelie bins then you put your waste into bags to leave out.

If you put your waste for recycling into a clear bag though in your bin though it won't be collected?

Rubbish is now being left on Slate Mill Place in Grantham and next to the white bridge into Wyndham Park blocking footpaths and SKDC have said they won't collect it as it's been reported as contaminated, so is it just to remain there forever?

When contacted SKDC said it's the home owners responsibility but who is going to go and fetch in their bags when they are all in a couple of large piles?

Once again SKDC have not thought this through but are still happy to collect the council tax each month.

Andrew Wallace

Grantham

I have no issue with bus services

There have been murmurings that Spalding's bus services need improvement. As a supporter and frequent user of our buses, my only issue was the need for the hourly service to and from Peterborough to be re-instated. Stagecoach have responded to criticism, and we again have the hourly service. Other improvements which are due to be made in other towns have already happened here in Spalding, and I sometimes wonder if people who complain actually use the buses. So many buses now serve the Johnson Hospital, but it would appear that many people would rather struggle for parking places than take the public transport on offer. We have frequent buses between Springfields and the town centre, and if the bus passes places where there are no designated stops, all you have to do is stick your hand out and the bus will stop, including for example both the IT2 and the 37 on Wardentree Lane. What is not to like about hailing a bus on Wardentree Lane and taking it all the way to Peterborough?I only wish the bus companies would make more effort to advertise these advantages. Lincolnshire County Council deserves credit: The 505 service recently had all its times changed, and almost immediately someone came down, presumably from Lincoln, and updated the timetables at all the stops affected. I think that is brilliant! And the drivers are helpful, always waiting for the passengers to reach a seat before setting off. And you no longer have to climb steps to get on the bus, and the drivers are so helpful to passengers with mobility problems.If we are hoping for a half-hourly service to Lutton Marsh or West Pinchbeck, we have to accept that it would never be economically viable - and if so few passengers use the IT1/IT2, which are provided by the county council on a non-commercial basis, we may one day lose them. If we have specific suggestions for improvements, we can contact the LCC, but otherwise I think we should be grateful for what we have, and we could all try the buses out, even just for the ride!

David Jones

Spalding

Everyone strove for perfection

On Saturday, I witnessed ‘The pursuit of perfection’ in action at the Birmingham Royal Ballet’s performance in Peterborough’s New Theatre. It wasn’t just perfection in the dancers’ movements alone, but every dancer and every other part of the entire system, on stage and behind the scenes, striving for perfection too – from choreography to costumes, and music to musicians.This performance reminded me of Sir Henry Royce, Peterborough’s most famous son, who said, “Strive for perfection in everything. Take the best that exists and make it better. If it doesn’t exist, create it. Accept nothing nearly right nor good enough.”As we near a General Election, I pondered what ‘the pursuit of perfection’ could mean for politics. Imagine every MP striving to do a perfect job for their constituents and country, alongside every Party Leader working collaboratively to help improve today’s dysfunctional political system in Westminster . . . and not just for short-term personal or party-political advantage, but for the benefit of our country for generations to come.Is this realistic? Yes. It requires two things, though: first, an agenda of suggested improvements to key aspects of today’s political system, achievable within the next Parliament’s five years and at no extra cost, that has already been crafted by the ‘movement for a fresh start to politics in the UK’ of which I’m a founding member; and, second, a massive shock to the current political system to make it recognise its flaws and inspire genuine systemic improvement.We saw this in 1997, when Tony Blair was persuaded to ‘put country before party’ and stand down Labour’s candidate in the constituency of Tatton to allow Martin Bell, the respected BBC war correspondent widely known as ‘the man in the white suit’ to stand as a truly Independent candidate and successfully defeat Neil Hamilton MP in what was, back then, the fourth-safest Conservative seat in the country.Only the election of a truly Independent MP, free from all party-political constraints, and in the very safest Conservative seat in the UK, will have the necessary impact to make all MPs, of all parties, understand that, in future, their seats will always be at risk unless they actively support demonstrable improvements to our political system in Westminster.Voters will see Coun Mark Le Sage explaining over the coming days how, as an elected Independent MP, he’ll be able to make a very real difference to the lives of people locally and to our political system in Westminster.This election presents voters with a rare, meaningful choice: a vote for Mark Le Sage is a vote for a fresh start for politics in the UK, and, hence, a brighter future for our creative, inventive, potentially flourishing country.

Alan Meekings

Holbeach

Without a vision shops will close

When you walk around Spalding town, you see more and more shops being closed due to illegal activities. Moreover homeless people sleeping in vacant shop doorways does not encourage vitality and viability of Spalding town centre.I was shocked to read Spalding Guardian headlines informing the public that they (South Holland District Council’s planning officers) have already decided to advise against Lighthouse project buying the vacant Coneys store which has stood empty for the past year. Who is running this council? That they are allowed to have this high handed manner to vote down a project that would benefit Spalding? Without a vision the town will just see more shops closing etc. It would be encouraging for all in Spalding to see headlines in future weeks that the council has seen the errors of its ways and has voted for the Lighthouse Project to go ahead.

Lilian Barton

Spalding

Not everyone is represented

I note, with interest, your article on the spending of the £20million fund allocated to Spalding and whilst the committee, as photographed, seem to be a reasonable group of people, they are hardly representative of the population of Spalding. Where are the youth represented? There appears no one there younger than 30 and more importantly, where are the people of colour who now should have a real say in development suggestions. I also note the disparity between male and female.I do think this should be addressed before this significant sum is allocated. For your interest, I am a white male of state pension age.

Richard Pratt

via email

Thanks for solar panel meeting

I am writing to thank the organisers of the important meeting at Gedney Hill to rally opposition to the huge planned solar panel installation (1000 hectares!), stretching across the countryside from Crowland to Sutton St James, and north and east beyond through numerous villages. Having worked with Sir John Hayes (Conservative Parliamentary candidate) over the years, I know he has long led efforts in Parliament to fight this menace on behalf of local people, and defending agricultural land so necessary for our food security.The campaign group and Sir John are giving a vital voice to the people. Long may it continue.

Dr Lee Rotherham

Moulton

Election is vital for older people

An election has been called for July 4 and campaigning has begun in earnest. Despite a rapidly ageing population, one in five of us is over 65, and within two decades that will rise to one in four. There is huge uncertainty around so many key factors that determine the quality of later life in the UK. We have rarely faced a more important General Election for today’s and tomorrow’s older and retired people. Accordingly the NPC (National Pensioners Convention) has launched its Manifesto for Older People. Every older person has the right to choice, dignity, independence and security as an integral and valued member of society. The United Kingdom faces significant challenges, an ageing population, inadequate pensions, health and social care services in crisis and rising poverty for millions of people, including older people. Access to essential services like housing, transport and health and social care is problematic, and is worsened by digital-first approach that excludes many people. Blaming older people for complex social issues only perpetuates ageism and division. Everyone is affected by the economic and environmental crisis. Intergenerational fairness is important, but simply worsening the position for older people today won’t solve the problems of tomorrow. The National Pensioner’s Convention urges all political parties to prioritise policies that will provide dignity and security for everybody, particularly people in later life. The NPC represents around 1.1 million members in hundreds of different organisations across the UK. We campaign for both today’s and tomorrow’s pensioners. Uniting the generations in defence of the welfare state and public services is an important part of our work. We call for:- Urgent and sustained action on the cost of living crisis, with an effective strategy to address poverty, including a fairer tax system with the basic tax threshold to be retrospectively adjusted to account for inflation since its freezing, and therefore index-linked to annual inflation rates.- A decent state pension, set at 70% of the Living Wage [ £294 weekly in 2024 ], and linked to the triple lock; maintenance of universal pensioner entitlements and a halt to the planned rise in State Pension Age.- A National Care Service, funded from general taxation, free at the point of delivery, with its own independent monitoring unit, working alongside a fully funded and fully public NHS.- Safe, dependable, accessible, and publicly owned, public transport; proper staffing on trains and stations, including ticket offices, improvements to the national concessionary travel scheme and a reversal of the major decline in bus services, particularly in rural areas.- A major house building programme to solve the national housing crisis, including 85,000 sustainable homes yearly for older people.- Climate change action to meet Net Zero targets, insulate existing homes to save energy, reduce bills and improve people’s health, regulate energy profits, provide free basic energy to all households.- An end to digital exclusion, ensure equitable and affordable access to information and services, and maintain local access to cash.- Voter ID to be scrapped. It has disenfranchised many people, especially from poorer, older, and ethnic minority communities- A Commissioner for Older People in all four nations to act as an independent champion and to ensure that policy and practice across government considers the needs of people in later life and the implications of our ageing population on society.“ Together we can build a better future for today’s and tomorrow’s pensioners.”

Rodney Sadd

Crowland Supporter of the NPC

Send your letters to: news@lincsonline.co.uk



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