SENTINEL: Asda, Boston Barrier, North Sea Camp, Post Office, Flood Aid


Sentinel offers his weekly take on events in Boston...

*Who said the supermarkets are all bad? I’m sure they can be pretty ruthless when they want to be but Asda has rightly earned an awful lot of goodwill in Boston in recent weeks. Holding a collection for flood victims is a nice enough gesture but clearing the best part of £8,000 off the shelves in the busy Christmas shopping period AND distributing them in care packs to homes of the families affected was a fantastic thing to do. A lot of the credit must go to Stephen Bromby, the store’s community champion, but hats off too to the big cheeses who made sure the shop’s response was so generous.

*In the wake of the floods politicians from all sides were keen to called for the town’s tidal barrier to be built as soon as possible. But can it actually come any sooner than the current estimate of 2019? Not according to the Environment Agency, the people who are delivering it. They politely told The Standard this week that there is ‘a lot of work going on behind the scenes’ and this is a ‘major project’ that takes ‘years to complete’. Sentinel reckons this is a pretty polite way of putting the politicians in their place. The EA’s stance seems to be ‘it will take to 2019 and can’t be done any quicker’. Interesting to see what the politicians make of that...

*It might be nice too for the case to be re-stated. Sentinel knows a lot of people are yet to be convinced that the barrier is in the right place and will protect everyone in the town. The EA probably thinks it has won this argument but Sentinel reckons its got a bit more work to do to convince Boston that this project will do what is needed. And at £90 million it needs to be right!

*Another week passes in which Sentinel asks just what is going on at North Sea Camp. This week’s Standard featured the court case of a convicted rapist who attempted to sexually assault a woman during the lunch break of his work placement. Justice Secretary Chris Grayling said it was a ‘horrifying case’ and promised to invesitgate. Let’s hope those aren’t hollow words since, and it almost goes without saying, this should never be allowed to happen again. Sentinel supports the idea of using a facility like the Freiston Shore open prison to rehabilitate people back into society but you have to question if the right people are being chosen. This year has seen a string of occasions where the process has quite clearly gone wrong. The people of Boston, on the doorstep of the prison, need answers and reassurance and not lip services and empty gestures. As do the victims who have suffered at the hands of day release prisoners.

*Sentinel attempted to send a card abroad and purchase something from WH Smith the other day. The queues at both the Post Office and Smiths only served to reinforce how daft the plans to put the busy Post Office in the back of Smiths seem. Sentinel also enjoyed some friendly advice and help from the staff at the Post Office. Sadly you fear next year’s festive post/WH Smith shop will be much more frantic, with a lot less time for the sort of top class service we currently get. Still, guess someone at the top will be enjoying a decent bonus alongside their turkey this Christmas eh?

*Sounds like Boston Flood Aid is going to take off in 2014. Sentinel reckons this might be the ideal chance to rekindle the spirit of the popular Party in the Park. The event is still much lamented - and would have an added meaning if it was all for a good cause. The town needs a good party once in a while, Flood Aid might well be what we are after. And surely 50 Sniffs is guaranteed to headline, kid?