Mr Brown uses old grievance to miss the point

At first, Mr Brown’s letter, in the recent edition of the Spalding Guardian, appeared to be in support of Chris Brewis and his ‘Crowland playhouse’ comments and my rebuttal letter regarding his totally artificial outrage.

However, upon further reading, Mr Brown is actually using his letter to revisit his dis-satisfaction with a complaint he made in May. At that time and in another letter, he complained about the response he received from a council officer, when he complained about a neighbour operating a hairdressing salon from home. Allegedly, the officer told him, ‘we don’t have the resources to investigate’. He also finished his complaint by referring to civil servants, an error he claims was him being flippant. I’m afraid I missed his flippancy in a Twitter response and assumed it to be his lack of understand that local government staff were not civil servants.

On the matter of the home based hairdressing salon, I’m pretty certain that what he claims to have been told, would not have been the whole story – our planning compliance officers are far more professional than that.

What the officer would have said was, that in principle, small businesses, operating from residential addresses, but not causing any issues for other residents, are viewed as acceptable. He would also have been told that it would require a certain level of evidence of actual disturbance to neighbours, before any investigation was carried out and that we did not have the resources to spend time collecting that evidence.

Finally, his letter in the Guardian was entitled, ‘This is why so many people are disillusioned’. I think it would have been far more accurate to say, ‘This is why Mr Brown is so disillusioned’, as his letter is clearly about him not getting his way, rather than anything to do with democratic representation.

Fly tipping initiative

Reproduced from:

Wednesday, 01 August 2012 14:38
Joining forces against fly-tipping
Written by Ruralcity Media

LANDOWNERS have joined forces with a local authority to make it easier to remove fly-tipped waste from private land.
The partnership between the Country Land and Business Association and Suffolk County Council aims to solve waste issues at a local level.
It builds on work already undertaken by the local authority on tackling trade waste.
CLA president Harry Cotterell said: “It costs around £800 to deal with each incidence of non-toxic fly-tipped waste on private land.
“Although we would like to see waste taken to local tips free of charge, we understand this is unlikely without a change in the law.
“However, the partnership with Suffolk County Council should help identify the barriers preventing fly-tipping from being dealt with.
“There must be a long-term sustainable solution, so we are pleased Defra is seeking to provide funding for the joint effort and, if successful, the outcome could be rolled out to other local authorities.”
One idea the CLA is keen to explore is a ticketing scheme for victims that uses a reference number to trace the crime, from the point of reporting the fly-tipping to the police or local authority to disposing of it at the local tip.
Mr Cotterell added: “The CLA will also continue to lobby the government to remove the potential for landowners to be prosecuted purely because they have not removed waste tipped on their land.”
The partnership was announced at a recent government summit on fly-tipping, chaired by Defra minster Lord Taylor of Holbeach.
The summit was a key government commitment to bring organisations across all sectors together to galvanise support for regional action on fly-tipping.
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Spalding Post Office on the move again

How disappointing it was to see the Spalding Post Office once again under threat of extinction, following a commercial decision by person or persons unknown.

When the current location, within the Co-op centre in Winsover Road was first proposed, I made my reservation clear, particularly with regards to its location within the bowels of the building. When the proposals were first made public, I asked what would happen if the Co-op decided to move on and what guarantee would there be that any new owners would want to continue to run a Post Office slap bang in the middle of their retail operations? As it happens, I have been proven right, with the new owners wishing to evict the Post Office operation.

Also, not only was it a far from obvious location, sandwiched between the food and furniture departments, it was also one of the most uninviting and depressing places I had ever seen a shop located in. It was bad enough just being a customer waiting in line and staring at the blank magnolia walls, what it was like to work in that windowless tube day in day out, one can only imagine. A plea to the management to put up some posters and place the odd artificial potted plant fell on deaf ears, like most communications with Post Office management.

The loss of the experienced, dedicated and well liked staff of the original Sheep Market Post Office was immediately noticeable, as was the apparent under-staffing, as queues regularly formed well beyond the opening – entrance is too grander term.

We are now told that the Post Office is to move next door to No 7A Winsover Road, a modest shop front previously home to an insurance broker. We are also told that the nearest car park is only 50 yards away. What they don’t mention is, that this is the old the car park, but is now around the back of the building and without direct access.

Given Spalding’s current lack of any meaningful parking enforcement, I imagine it won’t be long before we see traffic backed up due to drivers pulling up in front of 7A in order to just ‘nip in’ to post a parcel. 

As I said, the shop front is modest and it is difficult to judge exactly how much space will be available to customers. However, I’ve a strong suspicion that at busy times, queues could well be out of the door and on to the street.

On the plus side, the place will now have some natural light from the shop frontage, so the staff should find it a much more pleasant place to work. I just hope the rest of us find more pluses than minuses come from this latest move of our Post Office.

Check the Conservative Group website for the latest
information on what’s happening in the Spalding Wygate ward