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SENTINEL: Funding farce, bridge, Post Office, landlords

Sentinel

Sentinel

Sentinel casts an eye over the latest news in and around Boston...

*Another week, another funding farce. Last week you heard the one about the hospital bosses who spent money on new nurses they needed to improve services...only to be told to then find more savings. This week’s saga involves the police force who have been told to find a further £1 million in savings. And to rub salt in the wound the cash will go into a fund to help police forces make savings. Here’s a thought - maybe the police and NHS could run better without these daft funding sagas?

*What a surprise eh? The Post Office will go ahead with its WH Smith move despite opposition. We’re told there will be sliding doors to improve access and the big stand holding the papers has been moved to make more space inside. Still there’s no way around the narrow bit in the middle is there? Sentinel has seen other WH Smith stores with post office branches inside but those were much larger stores with much more space.

*And was it a done deal? The Post Office is desperate to say it wasn’t but it is hard to see what it would have taken to change their mind. Even those who were open to the original suggestion of moving from the current building were put off by the poor choice of new location. And sorry, Sentinel’s not having it that we’ll still get the same service. The press release was headlined ‘New location and longer opening hours’ - nice try at the spin...

*All in all you have to think we’ll be left with a lovely landmark building empty (although rumours persist it might be snapped up by a restaurant chain), a small cramped main post office and a substantially reduced WH Smith.

*Sentinel is all for political parties proving they mean what they say. Take the latest Green Party press release on the forthcoming European election that landed in Sentinel’s inbox. It begins: “THE GREEN Party eagerly anticipates the upcoming European elections on 22 May 2014, one year from today”. One year today? At least it shows they obviously believe in recycling...

*St Botolph’s Bridge is no more. The only surprise being how long it actually took to dismantle it. The poor old thing looked like a bit of a death trap - and pretty much was in the winter - yet put up a fair old fight against the machines deployed against it. There’s been plenty of debate about the look of the new one – and the whopping £750k cost – but something safe and sturdy would do for a start...

*The landlord licensing row hotted up this week. They say banks are not too keen on lending in areas elsewhere where there is ‘selective licensing’. If true that could be pretty dire for the local economy, particularly if it inadvertently hits ‘normal people’ just wanting to get on the ladder. The housing market seems steady yet precarious so could do without anything to upset the applecart but will lenders really not part with cash? One thing is for certain, the landlords and council need to thrash this one out. There’s no doubt that the overcrowding and housing issues in the town could do with being sorted...but not in a way that creates other problems.

*On a lighter note, hats off to Richard Austin for delving straight into a Yes Minister script for the classic ‘sledgehammer to crack a nut’ line to describe the licensing plan. Sentinel can imagine Sir Humphrey Appleby saying just that...

*It’s good to see an emerging youth council in Boston. It’s one thing having a voice though, let’s hope the adults have the good grace to listen...

 

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