Letters to the Mercury - 25th March 2011

Hotel plan concerns

RE: The hotel plan for 4 St Mary’s Place, Stamford. I was dismayed to read that South Kesteven district councillors said they were “minded to refuse permission” in regard to the planning application and defer the decision to March 29. I was also disappointed to read the statement attributed to Coun Harvey, namely: “The cost of another appeal process is completely immaterial. I shall make sure the council does its job properly and gives the right expert evidence to support refusal this time. We will fight the application all the way.”

The statement appears personally and emotionally charged. The planning regime is in place to ensure a fair hearing is given to all concerned. It is very rare for councillors to go against their own professional internal planning staff.

This scheme has already been refused last year and yet the Agellus Group won costs because the council did not offer sufficient expert advice. This seems highly inconsistent with the provocative and inflammatory remarks attributed to Councillor Harvey. Perhaps Councillor Harvey should remind himself that he is spending the local residents monies to obtain a refusal on what appears to be very emotive issues and not sound planning judgements made by experts employed by the council.

This sound planning application that appears to meet all the requested requirements and will add substantial value to the overall town of Stamford.

In the meantime, Coun Harvey should walk the High Street with his eyes open and also Broad Street late on a Friday or Saturday night and then consider whether a very responsible company like the Agellus Group who have a proven track record of operating hotel facilities across the region have a track record that does not take account of “waste disposal and odours, traffic and the effect on the building”. If the Agellus group fails those tests, then I do not know what the tests are for some of Stamford’s other businesses!

Paul Wallwork

Yarwell

Objections to stadium move

I write in response to and in support of the letters by Mr Williams and Coun Hicks published in the Mercury last week concerning the proposed relocation of Stamford AFC to Ryhall Road.

The kernel of this argument is all to do with the perceived grasping and unthinking attitude of the owners of the ground on Kettering Road.

Sadly, Burghley House Preservation Trust seeks an easy solution which probably suits no-one apart from themselves. Plainly, there has been neither thinking outside the box nor blue sky thinking – everything has been directed towards profit.

The counter arguments are well set out in letters to Insight Town Planning and Stamford Town Council, neither of which has received the courtesy of a reply.

Visit our website at http://R3A.web.officelive.com (no www) to see the letters and the latest news, none of which is nimbyism but objection based on fact alone. Follow us also on Twitter at R3AStamford.

For those who cannot access the internet, the objections are:

1 The proposed Ryhall Road site is unsuitable for environmental, agricultural, legislative and traffic control reasons, all of which seem to have been conveniently ignored by Stamford Town Council and South Kesteven District.

2 Little real thought has been given to the brown field site off Uffington Road (behind Morrison’s) which could be compulsorily purchased and could house 2 pitches, a large car park and a waste disposal site. We could even see the resurrection of the Ryhall Link Road.

3 The present location of Stamford AFC could be improved without the need to move were it not for the demands of the Burghley House Preservation Trust and its profit margin.

Lastly, turning to the letter from Mr Parkinson, published in last week ‘s Mercury. Let us get things straight, Mr Parkinson – are you really surprised that there has been little comment on your plans for Stamford? Roxburgh Road enjoys a static status which will not change until the houses are demolished in, perhaps, 2111. Therefore, think again. And of course, kids are goats, not children.

MG Felton

Ryhall Road, Stamford

Selective memory

ELECTION time must be soon upon us, the local Labour party is voicing its concerns at the effect of cutbacks being applied locally while displaying a singularly selective memory as to how we got here.

There is little doubt that the cutting of travel support will impact badly on many students so that pressure should be brought on the county council, on a case by case basis, to mitigate the worst situations. Let us try to get flexibility into their thinking now, that is what the town council may best achieve. It is Labour’s 50 per cent in higher education ambition that has led to these challenging costs; it has long seemed to me that a more considered approach to the type, delivery, relevance and marketability of higher education could have yielded better structures and outcomes, as have existed in the past.

It is commonly agreed that the Lib Dem engineered, student debt settlement -addressing the tuition fees which Labour introduced and increased - is the least worst that could have been achieved.

We are where we are because of many errors of judgement under the Labour government, the Iraq war, private finance initiative and unregulated banking. The accumulative effect is huge debt leading to painful repayment costs. Mr Wissen displays touching faith in the great Liberal, John Maynard Keynes; true he saved us in 1930 and again in 2010 but the money markets will call the shots all too soon, so the rate of pay down is a finely judged thing. Sadly the Tobin Tax on extraneous dealing can only work with all the world involved.

Bryan Lee

Bainton Road, Barnack

Complaints are misplaced

The anger directed at Bourne United Charities for voting against the change of status of Bourne Grammar School is misplaced. It should be aimed at the Government.

The Department of Education makes it quite clear that no school who converts to an academy should be financially advantaged – the extra money on offer is for schools to buy services which would have been provided by the local authority. However, it is clear from your correspondents and from the original consultation letter issued by Bourne Grammar School (and now Robert Manning School) that there is a financial incentive in conversion.

The Government appears to be offering a carrot – money. The flip side of this is that there is a stick – if a school doesn’t convert it will be financially disadvantaged. This is unethical and immoral.

I would suggest that instead of attacking Bourne United Charities, concerned parents write to their MP and ask why local authority schools are financially disadvantaged if they don’t opt out of local authority control, and demand that all schools be funded adequately. Bourne Grammar School has already said it is poorly funded – parents should be asking why this is so.

Janet Downs

Bridge Street,

Deeping St James

I am writing to acknowledge Bourne United Trustees wise deliberations and brave decision regarding Bourne Grammar School’s application to convert to academy status.

In their decision were several issues I hadn’t thought of but which all make sense. As a trade unionist I had researched the trade union angle which shows rather more concern for all the staff and the potential problems around the school being taken over by private and commercial interests in due course as sponsorship is, long term, the only way they will increase its funding. Unfortunately Bourne Grammar School does not seem to have active trade unionists on their staff.

Elizabeth A Dixon

Dorchester Avenue, Bourne

Thank you

On Friday last week the staff at Frothys dressed up for Comic Relief. They gave all their tips that day to the cause, raising £82 in the process. We would like to thank all our generous customers.

Louise and Richard Wright

Frothys Coffee Shop

Ironmonger Street,

Stamford