What’s in a name? 1: A restructure of Lincolnshire County Council wards covering Boston has been made to accommodate a cut in the number of councillors from 77 to 70 – and will see six new wards with new names replacing the current seven.
Not surprisingly, the Worst Street toadies agreed with Clownty Hall to reject some of the new names suggested by the boundary commissioner and bent the knee to the list the county council wanted.
These are: Boston North, Boston West, Boston Coastal, Boston Rural, Boston East and Boston South.
More sensibly – and probably with the benefit of voters in mind – the commissioner had suggested Boston North, Boston South, Butterwick and Wrangle, Holland Fen and Sutterton, Skirbeck, and Wyberton and Marshes.
We know of many people who are confused about which ward they vote in – especially as there are different names for Boston and the county as a hole.
The boundary commissioner’s suggestions would have done much to ease these problems by using recognisable names for many of the wards.
But it seems that Lincoln and Boston like the idea of keeping voters as confused as possible.
What’s in a name? 2: After the description we used above to describe the Worst Street sycophants, it was a happy piece of serendipity which saw a helpful guide on how to make toy toad from bits of felt, in the increasingly irrelevant Boston Borough Beano.
An issue anticipating the Swineshead pageant by a full four months told us …
It’s Ernest we feel sorry for.
During the week we have been looking in more detail at the scandal of the £1 million loan taken out by Boston Borough Council by an unknown officer – and for which no real information exists.
Throughout this sorry saga Worst Street has repeatedly whined that is it unable to pay back the loan – and thus save local taxpayers more than £100,000 a year in interest … £6 million-plus over the 60 year life of the loan.
Yet how different things were in February 2009, when a local “newspaper” reported: “Last week the borough dug deep into its coffers to pay back the £1 million Len Medlock loan for the Princess Royal Sports Arena.
“The borough acted as guarantors for this loan – and in doing so agreed to pay it back if the stadium's owners – Boston Sports Initiative – was unable to do so.”
Isn’t it weird that when it comes to throwing our council tax down the drain, Worst Street can find the money – but when it comes to spending a million or so to save six million it finds itself strapped for cash?
Despite its obvious eligibility for a reserved space in Private Eye’s Rotten Boroughs feature, Boston Borough Council has seldom appeared – largely because bigger municipal sinners dominate the list.
However, a recent issue managed to find space for Lincolnshire County Council.
The above item appeared before this week’s £1 million ransom cyber-attack on Clownty Hall’s computer systems – leaving staff struggling to remember how to use a crayon and paper while the system was closed for four days.
We wonder whether Councillor Martin Hill is still feeling as smugly eloquent as he was when he dismissed the call for an investigation into the council’s IT services.
We had one of our brief and infrequent exchanges with MP Matt Warman on Twitter during the week – an event which always leaves us feeling that somehow, the obvious is being overlooked.
It followed a comment by the MP on the restoration of the former Edinburgh Woollen Mill Shop using money from Boston Borough Council taxpayers and Heritage England – and went like this.
Matt Warman: This grant will provide a real boost for the town centre. Shops in the Market Place conservation area can apply.
Boston Eye: Not if it becomes a phone/charity/pound shop/nail/coffee bar
MW: You wouldn't rather they were empty surely?
BE: I didn't say that. Boston needs decent shops, not more of the current cookie cutter collection. You don't sound too bothered though.
MW: Not at all. I think it needs a diverse mix, and that its strength lies in independent shops as much as possible.
BE: You mean you wouldn't kill for a Waitrose? Have you signed the petition to save Boston Morrisons?
MW: Ha. I don't think it's for me to tell a supermarket how to run its business economically.
BE: Not what I was suggesting. More a case of supporting local community.
What surprised us was the underlying belligerence in the dialogue – starting with the suggestion that if someone is not a fan of trash trading it means he would rather see an historic building fall into decay. Similarly the use of the word “Ha” is definitely to scoff at the writer’s question.
When we suggested that signing the petition to try to save Morrisons would be a gesture of support to local people, smart answer came there none.
Recently, Mr Warman was keen enough to back a local petition to try to block an application for another alcohol outlet in the town – but that was only from a small time applicant.
Why’s he’s worried about upsetting Morrison’s is anyone’s guess.
But if you’re not scared of the big boys, there’s still time to sign the petition –which was started by Louise Argent who has worked in the Boston store since June.
On the petition site at Change.org, she writes: “Boston is a small town and the other supermarkets are the other end of town. As you know traffic in Boston can often be bad and Morrison’s being in that location is great. People don't have to travel to the other side of town to do their shopping. We are devastated at the news we received – it’s heart-breaking for staff and for customers, and I want to do everything I can to keep our little store open.”
The link to the petition can be found by clicking here
Finally, we’re taking a long weekend break, and will be back with you on Tuesday.
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