Wednesday, 7 December 2016

It seems that the powers that be in Worst Street have become so used to getting flak that they now take the fall for something whether it’s their fault or not.
Our report on last week’s “Christmas” lights event in Boston saw the council take a big hiding for the poor arrangements – see montage, right.
Yet in the days following the event it has emerged that that the people to blame appear to be members of the Boston Town Team – an organisation that makes the late, unlamented Boston Business “Improvement” District seem to have been a treasure trove of ingenuity, enthusiasm and action.
It appears that Boston Borough Council’s Town Area Committee – B-TACky – which has now completely ripped up its own rulebook at the expense of taxpayers living in the central areas, has bunged the Town Team up to £35,000 with which to purchase a lighting scheme..
On top of that there will be on-costs of £7,500 to £8,000 a year but, as B-TACky na├»vely believes, “businesses needed to take ownership of this, and the Town Team would work on this.”


So, how does Boston Town Team “work?”
Very slowly, by the look of it.
The team held its first open meeting in January last year and then issued a highfalutin’ business plan.
It has thirteen team members – six of whom boast chairman or deputy chairman status – and is an extension of the Lincoln-based Lincolnshire Chamber of Commerce.
Its mission statement on Twitter is “Working to enhance the vitality of Boston to ensure it reaches its full potential via the promotion, support and delivery of key initiatives” as part of the Lincolnshire Chamber.
Since May this year, it has published 69 tweets – the last of which appeared in mid-August.
Boston Borough Council is among the Team’s “stakeholders” – a role it clearly takes seriously to part with such a large donation from our hard-earned council tax..
The team also benefited from the demise of Boston BID, when it was handed the £6,000 left in the company’s accounts – which we are sure it has put to good use.
The Town Team website links visitors to “the most recent version of the Boston Town Team Newsletter.”
It is a year old.
This weekend saw Small Business Saturday marked across the country – but not apparently in Boston.
The team failed to answer our Tweet asking what they were doing to reflect this year’s event – even though they acknowledged its existence last year.
Incidentally, neighbouring East Lindsey in common with many local authorities offered free car parking to help boost shopping numbers.
But here it went unremarked by Boston Borough Council. Without even a mention in the borough list of events for December.


So where does all that leave us?
Despite being in control of things Christmassy, Boston Town Team appears neglectful to say the least.
And do we seriously imagine that businesses in Boston will collectively rally round to provide the £8,000 on-costs needed in the future?
And what happens when Transported stops doing the lion’s share of the work in terms of building and creating the Mayflower celebration parades?
We reckon that B-TACky will end up putting is hands in our pockets yet again.
And in that connection, a little more openness and transparency … on which Worst Street claims to pride itself … would be most welcome.
At present we have self-appointed committees meeting unminuted and in secret taking some big money decisions for which we are footing the bill.


There’s been some discussion recently about the progress in the plans for the Quadrant project which will see a new “community” stadium built for Boston United Football Club along with houses by the score.
Boston Borough Council recently wrote to objectors to the scheme to say that it has now received “amended details” – and giving them until next Wednesday to submit comments.
Unfortunately, the only way to do so appears to be by a personal visit to Worst Street as – despite the planning department assurance – they did not appear on the borough website when we looked yesterday.
A spokesman for one of the action groups involved says: “My main concern … is that if rumour is correct, there will not be a football stadium, community hall nor community facilities built in the foreseeable future.
“Therefore, as this was an enabling plan, the development should not continue on the west side of the A16 without being referred back as a new application.
“We were rushed into this, as BUFC were desperate for a new home, and it had to start a.s.a.p. for the 2018 season to begin.
“Considering the east side of the new road is now complete there is very little happening. That speaks for itself! After all, planning was sought on the West side and refused in the past, so why is this now continuing?”
Indeed, the original 2014 application makes it clear that “the delivery of a new community stadium for the club … is inextricably linked to the mixed use development on the west side of the A16 since the latter is defined by the applicants as ‘enabling development.’ That is that the mixed use development of housing, retail and commercial, leisure would not be being proposed without the stadium.”


Time now for the latest in our series Forgotten Boston.
The first photo might be headlined Can You Believe It?  – and goes a long way towards explaining where the discarded drink tins go after they are emptied in Central Park.

The answer: straight over the wall and into the Robin Hood car park on Tawney Street, where they are left to accumulate.
Recently, Worst Street requested empty cans for an “arts project.”
Well, they could kill two birds with one stone here – get all the aluminium they need and tidy the town as well. 


Our second offering is called Leaf Us Alone, and shows the picturesque scene on the footpath beside John Adams Way where it runs beside the Cattle Market car park.
It might look attractive but it also has a deadly potential.
We know from first-hand experience that many of these leaves are survivors from last autumn when they made a pleasant rustling noise underfoot.
A year later they are so dense, that when wet they create the closest thing that Boston will get to a skating rink this Christmas and constitute an accident waiting to happen.

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  1. The Lincolnshire Chamber of Commerce were advertising the position of 'Boston Town Team Co-ordinator(sic)' on 22 November 2016 - which reflected a closing date of 31/10/2016 and an interview date of 07/11/2016!

    Perhaps they did not have any takers - I can understand why that might have been.

  2. With regard to the poor Christmas Lights in Boston and the Council being the only group at fault, well, here is another side. In 2014 myself and Cllr Paul Gleeson approached a big company who very kindly agreed to sponsor some of the Tree lights for two years. Another sponsorship came from a well known DIY store who were extremely generous and supplied 12 xmas trees, 12 sets of 100 lights and delivered them to the businesses on Church Street. Cllr Stuart Ashton made the wall brackets for them and one of his team and myself put the brackets up as well as the trees. I paid for the brackets out of my councillors allowance. the following year only one of the businesses had put a tree up even though they all still have their lights and B&Q would have supplied more trees for with a large discount. This street couldn't be bothered and wanted it all done for them. We had the carolling councillors another year and whilst not great singers, we had a go.
    Sadly there is a huge disrespect and dislike for BBC by Pescod Square businesses and other businesses who will continue to work against the Council not wanting to work with them for the greater good.
    There are two groups of people who should get off their backsides and work harder though. These are the current elected councillors and the Boston Town team.
    Boston should stop completely blaming the council, it is the businesses as well. Give it a rest for goodness sake.
    Carol Taylor

  3. "Boston should stop completely blaming the council, it is the businesses as well. Give it a rest for goodness sake."

    When you have a well known Market Town's market place that is totally devoid of any kind of Christmas decoration other than for a Christmas tree and the occasional bit of shop front festive lighting, one has every right to be on the Council's back about it.

    It is a disgrace - there is no other word for it. As usual the Council is trying to lay the blame at everybody else's door other than their own. I for one and just about everyone else I know, feel that this is the straw that finally broke the camel's back where it comes to public opinion about the Boston Borough Council.

    I have been in more cheerful and colourful mortuaries than this year's Christmas Boston market place - drab, grim and uninspiring.

    It is probably an accurate reflection of the general mood of the town though - the Council's pathetic yuletide effort has certainly maintained the gloom, should we have felt the need to be happy and joyous.