Grantham Journal letter: Town is a fine and caring place to live

Courtney Finn
Courtney Finn

Your correspondent ‘Growing town has little to offer’ (Journal, July 7) presents the most negative and in my view wrongheaded description of our town.

St Peter’s Hill remains a lovely green space in the heart of the town with Abbey Garden at its side. The bus depot is a few yards away near a convenient shopping centre and in 40 years living here I have never heard anyone complain that the bus station is in an inconvenient place.

There is simply no truth to the hoary old canard about greedy landlords driving away their tenants.

Grantham landlords are in business to let their shops and so do all they can to attract and retain good tenants. Retailing has changed since the bus station was next to the museum but your correspondent seems stuck in a time warp. The bigger retailers want car parking next to the stores and I think this is one of the reasons that The George Centre has always struggled. Traditional high streets struggle in many towns. The empty shops can really only be filled by courageous entrepreneurs who take a gamble on opening up. SKDC offers help to landlords wanting to improve the look of their shops and there are numerous examples of how this has made many shops look better and improved the street scene.

Of course we all want more. It simply is not true that the council is only interested in having more houses built. They do all they can to encourage new investment in the town and talk to key investors all the time, but there is ferocious competition from other places.

The proposed outlet village is an example where we can expect many new jobs and visitors travelling from miles around and a proportion coming into Grantham itself. Yes, we have many more bars and restaurants than 40 years ago because that is what people like these days. Your correspondent implies the restaurants get a better deal from landlords than shopkeepers. How silly is that idea.

We can have a bigger market if we support what we have got, to encourage new traders to join us.

The district council has initiated, supported and promoted our Gravity Fields Festival and all the current events in Wyndham Park and in the town. They run a thriving Guildhall Arts Centre. Our local clubs and societies work hard to make Grantham a fine place to live and a caring town.

Grantham Rotary Club gave away £31,000 recently to good causes and all the money came from the good people of the town. Grantham’s great little museum is run by enthusiastic volunteers, and the foodbank as well. We have a history of people, events and buildings that bring many thousands of visitors here. St Wulfram’s Church leads the way in finding new ways to show people its treasures. Its choral music was celebrated with the young chorister Samuel receiving his Gold award in last week’s newspaper. The Jubilee Church also leads the way to give a welcome to newcomers from other countries with English language lessons and much more.

The town is thronged with clubs, societies and groups catering for all interest groups, hobbies and sports. Last week’s paper described the town twinning with Sankt Augustin in Germany, where close friendships have been formed over 35 years. The Summer Cup at The Meres stadium was a huge success. I could go on.

What it all demonstrates is that Grantham is not down and out but on the way up. It can be a fabulous place to live in, especially if you put a bit back in and cease your ill informed moaning. Come and help the Rivercare people every three months to keep our wonderful riverside tidy. Better still, don’t drop your litter in the first place, be it rubbish or spiteful nonsense.

Of course, we still need our hospital and we shouldn’t need a foodbank but the reality is rather different and I hope Brian Hanbury can find his 100 good citizens to give £50 each to help maintain the foodbank.

Your correspondent suggests the council should stop feathering its own nest. I really don’t know what this means. I suggest your correspondent reads SK Today to learn what our council really does.

It certainly does not have a nest to feather!

Courtney Finn

Chairman, Grantham
Civic Society