This interesting fact appeared in the minutes of February’s BTAC-ky meeting (see yesterday’s Boston Eye.) It has emerged that some letting agents have admitted that the type of premises available are not big enough for large retailers and probably too large for independent shops that are starting up. One big idea to solve this is for landlords to let the first and second floors as residential accommodation and the ground floor as commercial – though quite how this helps escapes us. It’s also emerged that these so-called “experts” have admitted that the information they had for prospective firms wanting to do business in Boston was “flawed” and is now being changed to make it up to date.
Whilst we have always criticised moves by councillors to persuade our local “newspapers” not to publish anything detrimental to Boston, we are equally disapproving when our local hacks overegg the ‘orrible Boston pudding and make things appear worse than they are.
The following appeared on Twitter a few days ago “credited” to the Boston off-Target.
The taster for the full story (top) shows a terrible scene – a littering of needles to make the blood run cold. But continue to the full repor and a different picture emerges, if you’ll excuse the pun. The picture is captioned “stock image of syringes” – in other words it is totally unrelated to the report. The Target has previous for this – remember the Amazonian wilderness used to depict the town’s waterfront, and the plan to address a whelk shortage with laws apparently involving fishing by rod. Another favourite with the Target is the word “horror” – most recently used to describe vandalism of a tombstone … something that is bad but not really horrific. Similarly all accidents are “horror crashes” even when no-one is hurt.
We wonder whether we are seeing the first steps to emulate our companions in Die Hansa – that pointless “club” of medieval ports and trading centres that is being revived for no apparent reason – are taking place after we saw this planning application.
A “sexual entertainment venue,” eh? What an excellent addition to part of the town which regularly seethes with people who have overindulged in alcohol.
But great oaks from little acorns grow. Many members of the modern Hanse are famed for their red light districts – and if Boston starts small, who can say what we might have to offer in a few years’ time.
Another planning application that we have mentioned before concerns Boston’s KFC restaurant – which is cashing in on a Heritage England/local taxpayer funded shop front enhancement scheme … despite making millions in profits, a small fraction of which could be put to the same purpose.
According to the planning blurb: “The development will be limited to the installation of a suitably appropriate shop front in place of the existing inappropriate one. The proposed shop front is more in keeping with the character and nature of the property than the existing.”
We don’t know about you, but the differences seem little different, and don’t indicate any signage of upper window displays which might make it look still more the mixture as before.
But at least it’s an improvement – for KHC’s bottom line!
News that the Farmers’ Market has taken Boston off its itinerary came as no real surprise in many ways. Most peoples’ expectation of an event with a name such as this is for fruit and vegetables, cuts of meat and the like.
Instead, there have never been more than a handful of stalls, with wares including such agricultural delights as potpourri, ostrich and venison.
By contrast, the farmers’ market in Gainsborough boasts 25 stalls, and Caistor, 20. But as we said yesterday, what is worse is the way that Boston Borough Council has apparently stood by knowingly but indifferently as the town’s Market Place and Bargate Green markets have fallen into decline.
Better late than never, UKIP leader Councillor Brian Rush tells us that the Vote Leave event in Boston on 12th March was greeted enthusiastically by Bostonians.
But in an interesting sub-text he appear to have some harsh words for the great and the good of the town – among them, possibly his colleagues in the Worst Street council chamber.
He told Boston Eye: “Boston’s few, but vociferous, self-elected critics, of ‘face to face opinion collectors’ seized their moment of glory by offering mumbled but belligerent comments as they passed by, so I will refrain from naming them, because I am quite sure they will want to remain anonymous!!
“It could be people such as these, who have selfishly influenced and resisted past attempts to develop our town, who may have, I think, been instrumental in our commercial demise.”
Talk about taking people for granted … Tuesday’s Boston Beano gives a name check to a tireless worker who’s doing his best to promote Boston – something that is Worst Street’s job, of course.
“Former borough councillor Ernie Napier … now 74, and a borough councillor for 28 years until 2007, gives his time as a volunteer every Wednesday, rain or shine, to leaflet visitors arriving in town by bus and coach,” we are told.
“Over the years he has thrust thousands of Visit Boston leaflets into the hands of those leaving buses and coaches and aiming for the market.”
He tells the Beano: “I have always wanted visitors to know that there is much more to Boston than the market, and to encourage them to stay longer, spend more and come back with family and friends.”
And the grateful reaction from Worst Street?
“An updated Visit Boston leaflet is being prepared by the borough council for Mr Napier to hand out to this summer season’s visitors from the coast.”
We sincerely hope that the borough is doing more than relying on one elderly volunteer to get its message across – but recent disclosures suggest that this is none too likely.
And speaking of the Boston Beano – there are only four issues to mark this week, as we are closed tomorrow – for which it scores 0.2 for relevance.
Finally, and still on the subject of taking things for granted, we hear the tale of a local business which decided to switch horses and do something different. An application for a change of use of the premises was approved – but it seems that the change of use people didn’t bother to tell the business rate people … who kept billing as before. The outcome was that a year on the business has been overcharged by £6,000.
But never mind, Worst Street plans to refund the money “in due course.”
Interest? Don’t even think about it.
That’s it for this week; we’ll be back after our Easter holiday …
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