Topics debated by politicians at Grantham Business Club
Politics played a big part at a meeting of Grantham Business Club (GBC) on Tuesday.
A highlight of the event was a hustings with a panel made up of Labour candidate Charmaine Morgan, Conservative Helen Goral, Independent Paul Wood and UKIP’s Marietta King.
South Kesteven District Council elections are due to be held on May 2.
Town centre issues were discussed, with business club chairman Malcolm Swinburn chairing the panel and putting forward questions from members.
The first topic was the Mid-Lent Fair and whether it could be located elsewhere to remove the impact on businesses in Westgate and Market Place.
Coun Morgan said she would “like to think businesses would capitalise on the fair” but noticed many close. Coun Goral sympathised with affected businesses and said that although SKDC is restricted by an ancient charter, moving the fair could be “looked at”. However, Coun Wood said the fair is an attraction Grantham should be careful about moving out of the town centre. Mrs King warned that it’s difficult to get something back once it has been taken away.
Also up for discussion was the planned erection of the Margaret Thatcher statue, which Coun Morgan said should be located inside the museum and not on St Peter’s Hill green, while Coun Goral said that, regardless of politics, Mrs Thatcher was the first female Prime Minister and longest service PM of that century, achievements that “should be recognised”.
In answer to a question about making the town attractive to commuters, Coun Goral talked about the council’s town centre regeneration plans, while Coun Morgan said she had repeatedly called for the route from the railway station into the centre to be tidied up.
Other topics debated included efforts to save hospital services, the separation of national and local politics, the role of culture and town centre landlords raising rents to levels tenants cannot afford.
Tuesday’s GBC meeting, at the Urban Hotel, was the first since the new committee was formed and members held a meet and greet.