Inept council has turned Market Place into a folly

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THE Community Leaders’ Corner latest South Kesteven District Council representative offering continues to seek to justify the local authority’s profligate and wasteful use of funds on the Market Place revamp.

The Journal has for a number of years been full of articulate letters, from concerned council taxpayers at both the council’s failings and the futility of projects such as we have just witnessed in the town. Yet such well-balanced concerns continue to be dismissed in a contemptuous manner by a succession of council representatives, seeking to justify their actions and their salaries.

The former Market Place had a vibrant hustle and bustle feel at the centre of the town, plus the added bonus of short-term parking for shoppers wishing to utilise the small, local shops in the immediate vicinity. A reasonably priced scheme of road resurfacing would have dealt with the “tired” and deliberate look of recent years.

In its place we are now faced with wide open, soulless spaces and characterless empty environment for visitors. The “work of art” at its centre certainly will not be winning the Turner Prize for Modern Art. It is a distinctly unwieldy and repressive looking structure, though may have some use for dog walkers.

The Orrery clearly shows, as if we needed reminding, the continuing woeful inadequacies of our local planning department, who were unable to robustly negotiate a more appropriate design, as part of the Section 106 agreement with developers.

Yes, Mr Mayor, this proud Granthamian will be shopping in Newark and Louth, Horncastle, Sleaford and Melton Mowbray, as these are progressive towns of character, not wonderful historic towns ripped apart over the decades by an inept and non-listening district council.

MARK BRIGGS

Stamford Street, Grantham