SENTINEL: Libraries, football defeats, Question Time and more

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This week’s Sentinel column - which we have revived to keep an eye on all matters Boston - looks at libraries, football defeats, Question Time and more...

Sentinel was recently passing through Birmingham city centre and noted with irony the brand spanking new £180 million-plus all singing all dancing library. Well, it won’t be all singing and dancing since it’s a library, but you get the point. Contrast that with here where we’re in the middle of an ongoing ‘consultation’ that may see some libraries close (or be palmed off onto volunteers). Sentinel doesn’t expect the council to be paying out on Birmingham level proportions but it’s interesting to see there’s a commitment to investment. Maybe the way to get around the so-called ‘decline’ in use is to encourage more people through the doors? Although Sentinel notes the word ‘decline’ carefully since stats published by The Standard show borrower numbers up in both Kirton and Donington - whose libraries are at risk.

*Sadly Sentinel isn’t a betting man. Which is a shame, since these pages predicted a certain yellow trouser wearing UKIP leader would be on the panel when Question Time comes to Boston next week. Still, not exactly crystal ball gazing - that was always likely wasn’t it? Anna Soubry and Benjamin Zephaniah are also on the panel so who will Labour and the Lib Dems put up? Sentinel wouldn’t mind seeing Labour send old ‘two jags’ John ‘Prezza’ Prescott. Not that we have any particular political affiliation to the old Hull-based bruiser - just that we fancy seeing a heavyweight Farage-Prescott contest. In Bonfire Night week that’d be guaranteed fireworks...

*You’ve got to feel for Boston Town this week. A 12-0 defeat cannot have been a fun experience. Sentinel could make the obvious point that a couple of members of the Tulips back line are said to bank more than the entire Poachers squad and that 12-0 only just reflects the gulf in finances between the two, but let’s not deal in grapes, sour or otherwise. It was a little surprising, however, to see that Spalding United boss Pat Rayment said Town had been ‘sounding off’ ahead of the derby game on Tuesday. What did then-boss Ian Dunn says to warrant that? He told The Standard: “It may look bleak, they’ve played 11 and won 11 and only conceded two goals.They’re scoring goals for fun so I’m sure everybody would be putting their money on them. But if anything, in the last two matches against them we’ve proved we can be competitive. We’ve created chances against them, now it’s just important that if we get another chance we take it.” Hmm, seems more humble than a ‘sounding off’ to us. It’s a shame the focus after such an impressive win can’t be on the fantastic performance.

*Sentinel’s also sorry to see the back of Ian Dunn and Matt Hocking - who lost their jobs in the wake of the above defeat. They seemed, to our untrained eye, to be good up-and-coming managers, who had done a decent job at Pinchbeck to cut their teeth. It’s fair to say this season really hasn’t worked out but let’s hope they bounce back and get another club soon.

*And while we’re on the subject of football - Sentinel’s thoughts go out to its namesake newspaper in Stoke, which this week saw reporters banned from the press box of Port Vale. It seems a worrying trend at the moment, with reporters from The Chronicle banned from the press box at St James’ Park in Newcastle United. These short-sighted clubs should realise that these childish bans simply short change their paying punters and make them look frankly ridiculous. Luckily our football clubs seem far too sensible to do such a thing. Although whether anyone would blame Boston United boss Dennis Greene for not wanting to see Duncan Browne’s mug post match is another matter...

*Power has been on the national agenda recently - with the Government signing away pounds-aplenty to build a new nuclear station. Looking around Lincolnshire Sentinel notes that a deal was signed this week on a £500 million contract to double the size of Spalding Power Station (which is gas-fired) and Sleaford’s new straw station had its ‘first fires’. What with those developments plus offshore turbines in the Wash and onshore at places such as Bicker Fen it certainly seems like we’re more than pulling our weight when it comes to providing for these energy sources.

*It was refreshing this week to see all Boston borough councillors come together in opposition against the plan to move Boston’s Wide Bargate post office into WH Smith. It’s good to see political differences can be put aside. Let’s just hope their voices are heard.

*So Bostonians don’t feel ‘satisfied’ with their lot in life. This comes after the insertion of Boston in the latest ‘Crap Towns’ book. The survey may be a little daft and the book may be a nifty publishing stunt but you can’t ignore the fact that plenty of people in Boston are cheesed off. They can’t be written off as a ‘disgruntled few’. Let’s hope next year sees projects such as the Boston Big Lottery fund (£1m given for projects in Boston) do some good to put some smiles on a few faces.

*What do you think? Contact our newsroom with your views on any of the above – or anything you want to get off your chest...