Below is the text of a letter I have sent to The Lincs Freepress / Spalding Guardian, in response to an extraordinary letter sent by one of my independent opponents. You can take a look at what he’s got to say for himself here: http://www.spaldingtoday.co.uk/news/latest-news/politics-a-community-is-built-by-giving-people-choices-1-6696891
I have to say, I couldn’t buy this sort of publicity, well I could, but the price would be a bit steep and probably break the rules on election expenses! As mentioned in my previous post about the independents election leaflets, this candidate has a personal axe to grind with me on this issue.
Looking at the impressive list of things he’s inserted himself into within the district, he clearly feels robbed of the opportunity to add management of the Wygate Park community centre to it. Far be it from me to suggest that he was angling for the job of centre manager, given his current employment status, but there must be more to his anger, than a simple difference of opinion with me.
Choice – exactly what’s on the table
In response to the letter about the community survey currently underway in Wygate Park, Spalding. Clearly, the writer has allowed emotion to cloud his ‘view’ and has failed to read the covering flyer, or even the survey form itself.
Both of these documents refer to ‘a community facility’ not a building, although that is indeed an option. The documents were drafted and approved by Community Lincs and South Holland District Council respectively, not by me. As a courtesy, I was supplied with a draft copy of these documents, but I had no involvement in their drafting. I also supplied maps of the area and lists of roads within a 10 minute walk time of the potential site for any facility. On behalf of the highly professional officers from both organisations, I believe the writer owes them a public apology, for questioning their integrity, impartiality and professionalism.
Despite his previous profession, the writer continues to ignore the legal framework that made both the land and the financial contribution available in the first place. A legal agreement, a section 106, was signed between South Holland DC and Allison Homes, the original developer. Allison Homes agreed to build a community centre, on part of the public open space, adjacent to what is now the Wygate Academy School – nothing else. A new legal agreement would be needed to use the actual money for anything else; something that Kier, the new developer, can choose not to do.
The steering group was formed in the hope that the community would, either agree to seeing the proposed building managed by South Holland Community Church, for and on behalf of the community, or decide to form their own community group, to take on the task.
For various reasons, the first option is now off of the table, in part at least, because of the written hostility of the letter writer in emails he circulated. I also believe that this aggression played a significant role in reducing the group’s membership.
The second option is still available to anybody, including the writer, wishing to take up the challenge. The results of the community survey will become valuable evidence for any group when bidding for the additional grant funding, essential to making the project a success.
Finally, if you live in Wygate Park and are one of the 1435 households to receive a survey, please take the time to read it carefully and make up your own mind as to whether, or not a building is the only choice available.
Once you’ve seen for yourself that it isn’t – so there’s no need to spoil your ballot paper on the 7th May – please do complete the survey and leave it outside your front door for collection on 9th May. There are also details about how to complete the survey online.