Letters to the Mercury - 23 March 2012

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Backing for roundabout

PETER Comeley solves all the problems (for the A1 exit/A43 entry) by his excellent roundabout suggestion, which he sites at the first A1 intersection after Wothorpe Drift – to slow the traffic and to declare straight-on for the north and south bound A1 entry.

No need then for any 40mph sign covering both intersections with the A43.

However, as an absolute newcomer to Stamford (and on exiting the town for the first time past the Wothorpe Drifts) I noted the A1 turn ahead and began crossing to the centre of the A43 (to turn right, aware of traffic that would then pass me on my nearside).

As I slowed, checking the approaching traffic before stopping to turn right, I saw (too late) the “No Entry” sign. Unable to continue further forwards, I had to make a U-turn across the “No Entry” to park on the left before once again crossing the whole road to discover the real A1 entry further up the road and clearly-marked (when you get there).

Mr Comeley is not the only person to have seen this happening on approaching those intersections; but few realise why it happens. The current speed of traffic on that straight stretch doesn’t leave much time for a stranger to assimilate a double-option on approaching the A1 flyover.

Oh – and well done, Rog Parkinson: a community-involved, balanced and final development of Stamford is what is needed to meet county and district council obligations.

And the Empingham site is now, according to district council leader Linda Neal, who addressed our neighbourhood group recently, in commendable detail, at the Freemasons’ premises in All Saint Street, the only site that meets both national planning standards and also lies within our very limited Lincolnshire boundary. To the north the Rutland county boundary prevents development behind Stamford Queen Eleanor School, which Burghley Estates had offered, and flooding prevents more east-side development towards Uffington.

So our town council must lead in co-operative efforts with South Kesteven District Council and Lincolnshire County Council to make the best of the Empingham site?

Stamford is, and has to be, a DIY town to cover its wider obligations to a huge area from Peterborough to Corby, as an ancient borough that provides an annual medieval fair, weekend events on the meadows, still-thriving shops (many new), almost countless restaurants and hairdressers and, in summary, a key tourist venue for five counties.

Would that the district council acknowledges those obligations and help us where it can.

DAVID de GALE

All Saints Street, Stamford

They’re not all ‘Nimbys’

IN reply to Mr Parkinson’s rant in your letters page last week, regarding the building of houses etc off Tinwell Road, I for one would take offence at being called a “Nimby” and he should be corrected.

I notice that Mr Parkinson lives in an area where it would be impossible to build additional houses and the only view he has is of his neighbour’s wall. If he lived in the area concerned we would not be reading the rubbish he writes.

I can remember when the planning application was put forward the first time Mr Parkinson came out of the woodwork, then spouting a load of old rubbish about “Nimbys.”

My opinion is that his argument is nothing about the building of houses because they are needed, but jealousy on his part of people who have purchased houses with a great view.

Also Mr Parkinson, have another look at the rear of the houses and you will see that at least one person has built a veranda off their bedroom and these are houses not bungalows, so they have an upstairs from which to admire the view – so a high hedge or fence is irrelevant.

Perhaps some of the people living there are not concerned about the buildings that are to be erected, so Mr Parkinson should apologise through the letters page for involving them. Perhaps he should involve himself in a proper hobby instead of writing to newspapers.

I am sure Mr Parkinson will reply through the letters page once more, but do I care? The answer is no.

J SPENCER

St Tibba Way, Ryhall

Rog Parkinson once again refers to the fallow field between Empingham and Tinwell roads – incorrect, it’s prime agricultural land with yet another crop just planted.

He also recommends that you should walk or cycle a path between the two roads – incorrect, this path runs from Empingham Road into Cottesmore Road.

The properties on the west side of Lonsdale Road and Exeter Gardens have rear boundaries adjoining the field, with no path between, so without walking through the field it would be difficult to see if the majority of properties have 10ft hedges.

If the project does not go ahead at least Rog can be thankful to the company proposing to install two magnificant wind turbines to look at.

Bj Hansford

Launde Gardens, Stamford

Slovenly speech

WE hear via the media that Great Britain is falling behind in the standards of literacy compared with the rest of Europe, not just in schools but across the populace as a whole.

I feel compelled to write regarding what I firmly believe is a dreadful lowering of the standard of elocution.

Nowadays, so many children and the generation above, ie teenagers and those in their 20s, are talking in the way that “inner-city types” – the ones wearing baggy jeans and with their hats on the wrong way round, who think it is cool to pronounce words in a slovenly manner – are heard to talk.

For example, why is it for the word “creating” they say “crea’ing”; “better”, they say “be’er”, “meeting”, they say “mee’ing”.

This dropping of the “t” sound occurs in TV and radio adverts and an article on TV only this morning concerning a school business project was massively spoiled by the way the kids spoke.

The teachers spoke well, but were evidently not encouraging the children to do the same.

IVOR BENNETT

West Street, Stamford

‘Truth’ behind

leaflets

Council tax statements are landing on doormats across the county full of propaganda from the district and county councils trumpeting the fact that charges have been frozen.

When reflecting on their frugality and care please be aware of the story behind the figures.

South Kesteven District Council has been able to keep tax down this year partly because of a VAT windfall originally earmarked for community-based projects.

It has cut green waste collections and continues to deny funding to other much needed services.

Meanwhile Lincolnshire County Council is slashing budgets resulting in hundreds of redundancies and cuts to vital services.

For example the budget for youth services is being cut from £2.8m to less than a million. Consequently youth centres across the county are now only funded to open one night each week meaning many teens are left out on the streets.

Fortunately, town and parish councillors in the Deepings recognise the importance of youth work and have committed funds to enable the Deepings Youth Centre to open more often, despite the county cuts.

Deeping St James Parish Council also funds a security patrol of the village on Friday and Saturday evenings to paper over the cracks in policing at those times. Sadly the Tories at Grantham and Lincoln seem to be aware of the cost of everything but the value of nothing.

Ashley Baxter

South Lincolnshire Green Party,

Kesteven Close, Deeping St James

‘Appalling’ situation

I was appalled to read that centres for vulnerable adults would now depend on volunteers.

It is a sad reflection on society that in order to save funds, professionals will not be dealing with these people.

Buying in services is a way of getting parents and carers to fund more care. In the past non-professionals just provided the extras for these vulnerable people.

We have gone back 20 years. It started with the closing of purpose-built centres.

My professional life, involved me for 32 years, with people who have severe learning disabilities and I retired in 2006 after being headteacher at the Garth special school at Spalding.

It is certainly true, the maxim that “the best years of your life are, when you are at school.”

Linda Dowson

Thyme Avenue, Bourne

Dismayed by exclusion

Good luck to Camilla Mclean (no relation) in her bid to become Stamford’s poet laureate.

Your article states that response for the competition has been slow, I can think of at least two reasons for this.

Firstly, to qualify for entry you have to live in PE9 thereby excluding a great many art centre users myself included, as I live just one house into PE10.

As a South Kesteven resident and council tax payer I was initially very annoyed to be unable to take part particularly as quite a large area of PE9 is in Rutland.

However, on reflection the winner will be saddled with reason two: Most poetry competitions offer some sort of reward, anything from £25 to several thousand.

This one offers nothing but the duty to write about local events, which of course means attending and presumably paying any entry fees involved – not an encouragement in these cash strapped times.

Hopefully, with this being the Arts Centre’s first poetry festival, the entries are rolling in now but please can we have a broader playing field next time.

Teresa Mclean

Witham on the Hill

Caring pet crematorium

I recently had cause to deal with the Lake View Pet Crematorium and Cattery at Market Deeping and cannot recommend them highly enough.

They put the ashes of my beloved dog of 17 years in a beautiful linen bag, displayed with a posy of plastic flowers which I then placed in a pretty box of my own.

The kindness shown to me was overwhelming.

I only wish I had known about them earlier. My heart broke at losing my pet, and it would have been so much easier to bear.

Mrs A Webb

Dixons Road, Market Deeping