Council: Allow us a say in decisions

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I am both dismayed and angered by council actions, or lack of, going back many years.

There are some consistent themes in this. One is to do with the steady loss of amenities, structures and facilities caused by lack of steady maintenance. Time and time again, the story is of something not kept up to scratch, until almost derelict, when one of two things happens. The first is to close and abandon it, leave it many years as an eyesore, and then complete the demolition. Or, second, after an expensive series of consultations, completely ignore the wishes and opinion of local people, and go ahead with some funded or grant driven scheme, which bribes and coerces the council to bow to outside pressures, and then try to argue that it’s the best solution.

Who controls the council? If I tried to install new windows here in the old town, you might be amazed at the stipulations and hoops I would jump through, and the cost I would have to incur. But if the street lamps need replacing, they say sorry we can’t afford the right ones, and try to install totally inappropriate ones instead. Can I use the same reasoning? Sorry I can’t afford the wooden sash window design you favour. How about these cheaper alternatives? You don’t approve of my idea to dig out part of my bank for a parking space? Never mind, I’m doing it anyway. I doubt it.

When the county council wish to act in the borough, the town council should have planning permission rights, and when the borough want to do something, they should put it to local vote and allow us the right of veto.

And like a good householder, the council should maintain any of its properties and land, and if it can’t afford it, sell on, not as a ruin but while still in good order.

The Spa Sea Wall could be maintained to keep its present appearance, and the abomination presently proposed is the result of twisted thinking, caused, I believe, by funding availability. We must fight it!

I haven’t even mentioned the futurist...

The council has a duty to safeguard our heritage, and should fight on our behalf to achieve the right and best solution, both to the Spa Wall, and the Futurist difficulties.

John Dickinson

Castle Gardens