Friday, 2 December 2011

Our Friday miscellany
of the week's
news and events
Ever since the bicycle was invented, it has been a problem in Boston – principally because for some reason it seldom, if ever, occurs to the townsfolk to ride it on the road. Which is why we raised a wry smile when we saw a headline in the local paper -“Police vow to crackdown on dangerous cyclists…” How many cracksdown will this make, we wonder? –  as we can think of at least three in as many years. Time and again, our local police have promised action, but we have never seen any improvement in the situation as a result. Cycles are ridden at speed and with complete disregard for pedestrians on pavements, footpaths and in pedestrianised  areas - and, as the Pc commanding “Operation Cyclone” (wow, that's impressive)  has so presciently observed -  “sooner or later someone will be hurt.” Sadly, we think that will have to happen before the police really  take the issue seriously.
We now have eleven “carolling councillors” volunteering to entertain visitors to the town’s Christmas Market weekend on December 10th and 11th – and we applaud their sense of fun and community spirit. They will perform in the Market Place at 2.30pm on the Sunday. Eleven out of 32 ain’t bad – in fact it is starting to look a trifle embarrassing for those who haven’t yet signed up. All councillors have received an invitation to take part – so let’s hope that by this time next week, we will see a few more names on he list.
We know that there’s a crime for almost every action that you can think of these days – but we thought that this one took some beating …

What next, we wonder – a charge of pea mushing?
Boston’s irrepressibly hopeless Business Improvement District is  organising much of this year’s Christmas activities in the town – although you wouldn’t know it from looking at their website. To date, not a word has appeared about anything to do with Christmas – the last “news” entry on the BID site was dated November 14th, headed “Protest March Update” and announced: “Saturday 19th November will be a normal trading day.”
The latest issue of Boston Borough Council’s monthly bulletin was quick off the mark with a report that Wednesday’s cabinet meeting had approved  the borough’s budget plans for the financial year ahead. We’re told that the main proposals include a freeze on council tax - so long as the government’s bribe for not increasing the rate is accepted -  improved front line services ... whatever of those remain ...  and major spending to improve the council’s refuse fleet, the crematorium and car parks. Strangely, there is no mention of the plan to increase car parking fees – including the possibility of charging disabled drivers, which would bring in an extra £80,000 alone. A quote from a spokesman that Lincoln already makes such a charge is unconvincing. Therefore, we assume that the parking price plans are still on the agenda – but as they are bad news, have been swept beneath the carpet of what little good news there is to offer.
The link to the full draft budget document on the council’s website took us to an entertaining page indeed. It is the council’s “On Line Forms” area - which we are told is developing and will offer “a whole range of popular forms” soon. We’re none too sure about the choice of the word popular in connection with forms - but are sure that some of those on offer are much in demand. They may well include a form to transfer grave ownership, another entitled “Landscape Character Assessment consultation January 2007 - desktop study only” and yet a third “to report dead animals on the road or pavement.” By the time you have reported them, they've probably been cooked, served and eaten!
As we searched for photos showing Boston Market Place the other day, we came across a small but delightful collection from – of all places – the Imperial War Museum ...  and which forms part of the “Ministry of Information Second World War official collection."

click on photo to enlarge it
We particularly liked the picture on the right – in which a young boy excitedly runs in the wake of a farmer herding his cattle along Strait Bargate. Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose, as they say in Fishtoft. In 1945, it was animals – today it’s the townsfolk being herded by the Into Town Buses. If you would like to see the other pictures in the set, you will find them by clicking here
A  very nice Christmas present for the citizens of Lincoln comes in the shape of government approval of a £50 million contribution towards the city’s eastern by-pass. After initially approving a contribution of £14 million, Lincolnshire County Council then went considerably further, agreeing to act as “guarantor” and underwrite the £34 million "third party funded element." Now that the bid to Whitehall has succeeded, it means that construction could begin as soon as 2014 - because the authority won’t need to wait for details of developer contributions. On top of all that, the plans for the road were scaled back to single carriageway to get costs even lower.  So how different will that be from the much criticised A46, then? All of this sounds like a bit of a gamble – but again it underlines criticism that County Hall considers that nothing is too good for Lincoln – whilst the rest of us can go boil our heads.
Hands up if you try to keep your wheelie bin as clean and presentable as possible. Yes, quite a lot of are you showing that you do. Now, hands up if you’re less than happy to have a super sticky label slapped on your bin that takes a lot of scraping to remove – especially when all it’s telling you about is changes to Christmas collections that affect only one day of the week. Gosh – even more hands …
Our prize for the promotion of the week goes to the Boston Standard with this offer on Christmas footwear.

What a great way to sell boots. Just be careful when you order to avoid getting two left feet – unless you’re Long John Silver, of course!

You can write to us at   Your e-mails will be treated in confidence and published anonymously if requested.
Our former blog is archived at:

No comments:

Post a Comment