Letters to the Mercury - 4 March 2011

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Have your say

Frittering away our cash

I agree with Helen Fox (Letters last week). I read with amusement the article indicating that South Kesteven District Council representatives are again looking to fritter away the taxpayers’ hard-earned cash.

Our country’s esteemed leader has told us that these are austere times and we are to work towards saving money wherever we can. This seems to be an exception if you live in the Stamford area.

Since wasting taxpayers’ money on turning Red Lion Square into a surface that at the first sign of frost is a delectable ice rink we seem not to have learned from our mistakes.

The planters show themselves for special occasions and are vandalised within the first few nights by the mindless idiots that feel it their God-given right to destroy anything that does not belong to them and may be in the wrong place, as to their, obviously superior, opinion.

So, despite the fact that we have to cut 130 police jobs due to a shortfall and the freezing of its share of the council tax, the Stamford Museum is having to close and the Children’s Centres are fighting to stay open, the council sees fit to “put aside” £80,000 to spend on more opportunities for the drunken, thoughtless fraternity to wreak havoc on.

Helen has the right idea, try spending that money on preventing these mindless idiots from destroying what is already there and cleaning up the graffiti, vomit, dog faeces, rubbish etc that festoon our walkways after a “good night out.”

I am appalled by the state of our walkways, not only in town but the surrounding alleys and pathways. The amount of vomit and dog faeces that I have to dodge on a regular basis, warning the children as we walk to school, is ridiculous.

So in answer to your question, yes I agree with Helen and yes, we need to be tackling the vandalism and poor behaviour before we start throwing badly needed money at pointless money wasting projects.

Kate Everitt

Aberdeen Close, Stamford

Charity begins at home

I CAME to live in beautiful Stamford early in 2007, and later that year started as a volunteer at the local British Heart Foundation shop in High Street.

This is not a letter about the number of charity shops in Stamford (as recently debated), but concerns the wonderful generosity and continuous support we receive from the citizens of Stamford.

People come into our shop, buy our goods, and during foundation special collections, whether they be inside the shop, in High Street, or in local supermarkets, they willingly fill our ‘red buckets’ with their donations.

This may surprise a few people, but many of our young school students happily pull out their pockets or money purses and pop into our red buckets money they could well use to buy an extra treat - they deserve a special mention.

The staff and many volunteers of the Stamford shop, would like through the Mercury to convey the immense gratitude we all feel for their kindly support.

I also take this opportunity to say a massive ‘thank you’ on behalf of all the local charity shops. Financially, times are tough for many people, yet they never stop giving their help - Merci Stamford.

JUNE PHILLIPS

Mallard Court, Stamford

Give us the breakdown

South Kesteven District Council leader Linda Neal (Letters last week) says she is willing to meet and talk with me. I would prefer that she does as I originally stated and publish a breakdown of her expenses, so we can all see them.

Since she is legally required to produce receipts for the money, this should not be a problem.

She also says that she works 50 hours a week, sometimes to the detriment of her family.

I doubt if she is alone in this, however she chose to become a councillor therefore she is not forced to continue working such hours, in a job that is essentially voluntary.

She also says that she was required to buy a second car, many couples have to do this simply to be able to go to work and they get no expenses to help with the running of their vehicle.

So please, may we just have the expenses breakdown published so we can make up our own minds?

MISS M SIBBORN

Fir Avenue, Bourne

Field is used for crops

I REFER to Rog Parkinson’s letter in the Mercury on February 18, concerning nimbys.

While I accept that people have different views, I must take issue with his outrageous comments concerning the use of the field between Empingham Road and Tinwell Road. He states: “This field has been fallow at best since I have lived in Stamford (21 years) and although not quite an eyesore is certainly no area of natural beauty.”

I have lived in Stamford somewhat longer than Mr Parkinson and can assure him that the field, which I look out onto every day, has never been fallow which, in my dictionary, means uncultivated and unused.

Every year without fail, a crop is grown which is generally cereal but sometimes sugar beet in rotation; I understand that potatoes may be planted this year. If he feels that a field which has been ploughed ready for sowing, as it is at the moment, is “not quite an eyesore”, then he must be really repulsed at the sight of 70 acres of golden corn or barley ripening in the summer sunshine.

This field is prime, arable green belt farmland which is used to grow food. It is even too valuable to graze livestock, except for the sheep which are put onto the field to graze sugar beet tops after harvesting. You do not have to be a nimby to prefer the sight of beautiful farmed English countryside rather than yet more urban sprawl.

Stamford has more than exceeded its optimum size for a market town. It is now choked with housing and this development will only serve to provide yet more dormitory accommodation for Peterborough and London. You are entitled to your views Mr Parkinson, but please get your facts right.

G COOKE

Lonsdale Road, Stamford

Survey questions

I don’t know if other Mercury readers have been phoned asking if they can spare three minutes for a quick survey re facilities in the town?

I was called on a Wednesday evening just as I was about to go out and in my rush I forgot to ask on whose behalf the survey was being conducted.

The survey questions started by asking me what facilities I would like to see in the town – innocuous enough! However it soon moved to suggesting that all the current shops and facilities are on the eastern side of the town and wouldn’t I like to see more on the western side?

Well first off I thought Stamford didn’t think along east and west sides – I thought we just had a town centre which we all used.

I was then asked that if we did have more facilities in the west of the town wouldn’t it remove traffic from our congested town centre? First I don’t think the town centre is congested and secondly, any shops and facilities in the west would just encourage people on the eastern side to drive across town to use them rather than walk the short distance into the centre, therefore creating more congestion not less.

When I was then asked if I would like to see more employment opportunities in the town the penny dropped and I realised that this survey was linked to the 500-home development proposed for the land between Tinwell Road and Empingham Road and being carried out on behalf of the developer.

It is very hard to resist saying “yes I would like to see more doctor’s surgeries, employment opportunities etc”. However people should be aware that what that means is another 500 homes with a commensurate 600 to 700 cars and a loss of Stamford’s character.

My recommendation to anyone receiving such a call is to repeat the phrase “I think Stamford is fine as it is and I don’t want to see any major new developments in the town.”

Hugh Cripps

Casterton Road, Stamford

Parking fear

IS something going to be done about the parking at the back of St Mary’s Church? The way the vehicles are now parked means that drivers are forced to use the gutter, producing a severe angle of lean, especially with regards to taller vehicles. I would predict an accident here.

EDWARD ALABASTER

Meadow View, Stamford