Week ending - our Friday miscellany of the week's news and events
Off to a good start ... a reader e-mailed yesterday afternoon to say: “As a pedestrian - I have just witnessed several irate motorists remonstrating with a PCSO! They have been issued with fixed penalty tickets for failing to park in marked bays in
Boston Market Place. WHAT marked bays? If
you enter the Market Place and stand in the middle, I defy anyone to spot a
marked bay! On closer inspection it is just possible to make out a slightly
different coloured stone pattern in some areas but they are not easy to spot -
unless at close range. They are even more difficult to see when wet - all the
stones go darker! Unless the bays are
painted white or yellow - the effect will be that far from encouraging shoppers
people will avoid it and go elsewhere. Struggling businesses have suffered
major disruption during the last year - with no real hope of recovering lost
earnings! The town centre is now a more
dangerous place to negotiate through.
There is no discernible marked roadway through the Market Place - it is a
complete free for all and most hazardous
- whether on foot, cycle or in a vehicle. How long before a serious
accident? I understand this revamp has
cost a couple of million pounds. There
was nothing wrong with the previous block paving. It had only been down a few years!
The result of the new surface is poor -
whilst at the same time there is no money for much needed road repairs!
What a waste! Boston
There are outstanding questions about the decision by Boston Police and Boston Borough Council to order the early closure of the town’s May Fair last week. We calculate that the loss of business to the showmen must have been at least £10,000 – and wonder what assurances they may seek in the future to prevent the same thing happening again. Three years ago, the review of the fair by the council was mostly driven – as usual – by cost. A 35% increase in charges was suggested so that the borough would not be out of pocket. It was claimed that it cost the council around £40,000 to host the fair – which fell to less than £10,000 after rental charges. There was also an issue concerning the police presence - with the possibility that they might wish to recover their costs. In that event, the council planned to pass the charge on to the showmen as well . At one stage it was suggested that the fair might vanish entirely. Is it possible that last week’s decision is the thin end of a wedge that has this in mind?There seem to be differing views about how bad things were during the week of the fair - pictured on the left in happier days - back in 1945. Although a decision was taken to close it early, the town’s "police chief " repeatedly said that the problems were no worse than in previous years – which made the decision something of a mystery. But two events which concerned us in that same week were unrelated. One concerned a man walking along
which moves us seamlessly on to last week’s Scrutiny Committee meeting which discussed the success or otherwise of the town’s Designated Public Place Order– which aims to control problems caused by drinking. The meeting heard that a number of benches where people congregate to drink have been removed. A police officer said that this was a last resort after police patrols had been stepped up and monitoring had been unsuccessful. Benches on Windsor Bank and in the High Street were specifically mentioned. We know Windsor Bank very well, and can say with certainty that there has not been a serious police presence there – real or otherwise – in 15 years. It is also becoming the norm to cut down bushes which people use as toilets. As with last week’s early closure of the May Fair, which played into the hands of drunks and troublemakers, we cannot help but feel that the public are the losers.
Something that goes hand in hand with street drinking is urinating in the street, and again it was interesting to note that it could be "demoted" from its present status - and dealt with instead under “a separate restorative justice programme” currently being worked on in partnership with Boston Borough Council and Lincolnshire Police. Apparently this will involve culprits apologising to anyone they have offended. Welcome to
Only last week, we mentioned a letter to the local paper which asked what the fuss was about the Olympics. Having seen Boston Borough Council’s answers to "frequently asked questions" about the journey of the Olympic flame through Wrangle and Boston at the end of next month, we wonder whether that is really worth it as well. Roads will be closed for around an hour as the torch passes along the route, whilst staff at businesses on the route are being encouraged to turn out and cheer. The council will also “appreciate” local firms welcoming the torch with decorations– so long as they do not include Olympic insignia “for brand protection purposes.” Deliveries may be affected for up to two hours on either side of the torch relay. The torchbearers will be accompanied by a convoy of as many as 14 vehicles - including cars, trucks and buses - and up to eight police motorcycles. Vehicle owners may not park on the route on the morning of the event – which doesn’t begin until shortly after 2pm. We don’t know how you feel – but it’s not our idea of a great day out!
Of course, between now and the Olympics is the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee - and as more and more information is emerging as to how local villages plan to celebrate, one area where it seems seriously lacking is Boston Borough Council’s £5,000 extravaganza in the town’s
A week ago, we highlighted the BID’s inability to spell the word “Diamond” – which frequently appeared without the final letter in its lamentable “What’s On” coverage. We would have thought that word might have reached them by now and that a correction would have been made. But no. Please don’t tell them, it would be a shame to wake them up.
During a recent flirtation with democracy, Boston Borough Council introduced e-petitions. They were briefly mandatory, but the compulsion was dropped as part of the Localism Bill. We suppose that may be why the opportunity to create a petition has disappeared from the council's website. If you had a bee in your bonnet, raising a petition was a good safety valve. A couple that we can recall concerned the re-introduction of a borough dog warden, and an appeal for brown garden waste collection wheelie bins.
Now, the message above is what you see when you search for the e-petition facility on the borough website. Is it just another slice from the “Let them eat cake” brigade?Earlier in this week’s effort, we mentioned our perceived shortcomings in the way that
Last night saw the call-in debate on Boston Borough Council’s cabinet decision to approve its controversial parking strategy- which includes charging disabled blue badge holders. It included an appeal from the Boston Disability Forum, which stressed that a non disabled person has the choice of: walking into town; driving into
Finally – we were struck by this message on the Boston Protest March Facebook site during a recent discussion - just click on the image to see an enlarged version.
A change of heart, perhaps?
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