Chron Letters: July 25

Alive at Delapre was great success

I wanted to express my thanks to the team who set up and ran the Alive at Delapre concerts.

Although I expect that there may be some in the area who were dead set against it, I was very impressed with the event. I live about 300 yards behind the main stage. There was, of course, some noise but it was only to be expected and really not that intrusive.

The parking permits worked very well and with a cut-off point before 11pm, the street was well clear by midnight and each morning there was very little sign of litter. It was great to see a very high profile police presents although from what I saw they were not needed. All the revellers seemed to have a great time and, even if a bit ‘jolly’, still behaved very well.

The Friday night event did seem to be the best with Paul Weller doing a very full set to the satisfaction of his fans. The Saturday headliner must have disappointed many by going on late and only just about managing an hour on stage. James Morrison concluded the weekend with another full and satisfying set. The decision not to use the ‘Rec’ for parking was probably a good one. It would have been quite difficult for the motorists to all to have removed their cars at the same time and of course the parking may not have been secure..

I really hope the project will be repeated next year. Only make it bigger, there is plenty of room in the Abbey and go for bigger better acts. Make the event a big one on any music fans calendar.

It is after all another feather in the caps of ‘Cottonites’. The beer festival and carnival have had other venues but have thrived now they are based at the Abbey.

Well done and best of luck for the future.

PS, I am nearer 60 than 50 but still enjoy a good night out

G R Marshall

Delapre Crescent Road, Far Cotton, Northampton

DELAPRE ABBEY

Rubbish needs to 
be cleared

RECENTLY I took a walk around the lake at Delapre Abbey as it was such a lovely evening.

I took friends to see “one of 
the jewels of Northampton”. 
I gave a snapshot of it 
history and built up how 
lovely this area was. I wish I hadn’t!

On walking around the lake I’ve never seen so much lack of care, rubbish and burn marks where mindless idiots have used throw-away barbecues directly on the grass. It was a state.

It was clear to me that a small proportion of people who use this area were not caring for this important site in our town, but neither, it seems, is our council whom the building etc is in trust to for the people of Northampton.

I rang the council to speak to someone in the new park rangers department to inform them of the situation, only to be fobbed off with, “I don’t think they will be able to deal with this”.

I then asked for the leader’s office, the leader of the council being an elected member, voted by the people and for the people. I clearly thought wrong as I was told I could not speak to his office. This is shocking. No wonder the people of Northampton at election time refuse to come out and vote.

What’s the point if you’re not listened to, fobbed off and pushed from pillar to post without any real answers or actions? So I openly invite Councillor Macintosh to meet me in respect of this and a few other matters – come to Far Cotton, David.

Peter Evans

Former borough councillor

WORKING MEN’S CLUB

Stand by our working men’s clubs

At the heart of the community are many charitable organisations and one of these are our working men’s clubs. They are the hub of friendship and many activities are arranged which brings communities together. They have a long tradition in our town and we hope this continues into the future. They are family friendly where couples with young children can meet to enjoy themselves.

We believe many of these establishments are at present struggling financially so it is vital they have the support of our borough council. However, at present this is regrettably not the case. The Enterprise Zone is very good for Northampton and shows our town is open for business but there is an element of unfairness in withdrawing the discretionary rate relief for working men’s clubs which costs them up to £3,000.

With councils reliant on the voluntary sector, the big society etc to run a number of events we believe the discretionary rate relief must be kept for all our Working Men’s Clubs. I would urge the leader of the council to reconsider his proposals. Labour will do all we can to support such organisations. We opposed the withdrawal of the discretionary rate relief at the budget and opposed the Tory budget the year before that.

Working together with the clubs, other organisations and the council I would hope we could come to some satisfactory conclusion.

Councillor Terry Wire

Leader, Labour Group, 
Northampton Borough Council

ROADWORKS

Roadworks need shared access

We are informed that the work around the Drapery in Northampton will continue to cause disruption until January next year. Would it not be possible and safer for both pedestrians and traffic to install a pelican crossing and fence off the area around the shops while this work is being carried out?

M Sullivan

Baronson Gardens, 
Northampton

TRANSPORT

Bypass will not solve A43 problems

With reference to your article, Plan to tackle A43 traffic nightmare, Chronicle & Echo, July 18. Although the road proposed as a “bypass” around Moulton, Moulton is not the cause of the A43 problems. The new road will be about two miles long with at least two sets of traffic lights retaining the existing roundabout at Moulton Filling Station. The road will pass through Barratts housing estate, past a primary school and shops.

The proposed scheme will neither speed traffic flow nor reduce congestion for the following reasons:

1. It is an estate road with speed restrictions down to 20 or 30 mph

2. 2,000 houses being built by Barratts and 750 houses around Moulton equals an extra 3,000 or more cars

3. Northamptonshire County Council’s plans for a dual-carriageway between Northampton and Kettering will be sponsored by a ribbon of housing and warehouse developments along this road, increasing traffic

4. New developments near Park Farm, Wellingborough, claim 2,000 Lorry movements a day.

The biggest issue with whatever happens along the A43 is Round Spinney roundabout unless £70 million is spent making this roundabout multi-level the traffic chaos will get worse not better.

This will affect the already blighted “rat run” villages of Moulton, Overstone, Sywell and Holcot.

The figure of £18 million is well short of the necessary monies, yet again Northampton wants to do it on the cheap.

So there are no benefits to road users, residents or the villages, only the ego and desire of a hapless NCC.

Barry Oliver

Chairman to Overstone Parish Council

TRANSPORT

£20m station cost is too extravagant

Councillor Michael Clarke calls for patience with the Black Lion roadworks associated with the station improvements (Chronicle & Echo, July 18).

Let us hope the completed scheme will be more sensible than the previous, whereby left and right turns to and from St Andrew’s Road were banned. The effect was to throw traffic onto the Gas Street roundabout and onto a circuitous journey via Spencer Bridge Road.

At the same time Marefair remained empty of both pedestrians and traffic, wasting an entire street. That stupidity will have imposed costs on motorists of at least £5 million per year. Pity about the economy.

However, the signs that some common sense will be embedded in the new layout are not good. For example, they have instituted an entirely unnecessary one-way system in the station car park. That system has at least tripled the distances driven within the area and forces some motorist to drive in circles.

The new station itself may turn out to be “absolutely fabulous” but its £20m cost, equivalent to a £200 for every household in the town, is extraordinary. After all, the existing station is perfectly adequate. Furthermore it caters for only 7,500 arrivals per day – about one third the number who cross West Bridge, let alone the rest of the town.

Multiply that extravagance up across the nation and small wonder we are broke.

Paul Withrington

Director (Transport-Watch), Redland Drive Northampton

MUSEUM

We need the facts over Sekhemka

With County Hall as hot as Cairo, is it any wonder that our perspiring councillors are trading Pharaonic insults over the Sekhemka statue?

To lower the temperature might I suggest that Councillor Mackintosh urgently considers the following.

Firstly, to publish the exact terms and conditions under which The Marquis of Northampton and others donate items to our museums.

Secondly, to conduct a comprehensive audit of all artefacts held. Sadly museums often seem to be like icebergs, with the majority of potential exhibits hidden below the surface in dusty crates rarely seeing the light of day.

Who knows what other treasures might be discovered ?

If it is acceptable to all parties to sell such assets and reinvest the proceeds specifically in local culture and heritage, might I suggest that our excellent Abington Park Museum might once again be open for the whole calendar year?

Dave Fleming

Abington Court, Northampton

EDUCATION

Why are our schools short of places?

So, the former Royal Mail sorting office in Barrack Road is being considered by The David Ross Education Trust for conversion into a new secondary modern school, creating another 1,200 student places in Northampton (Chronicle & Echo, July 11).

Wendy Marshall, chief executive, states that it would help to provide room for the future demand of additional secondary school places locally. She estimates an extra 4,200 primary school places will be required over the next two years.

I wonder why this dire situation has occurred? Could it be that this is a consequence of the New Labour Government’s 13 years in office, allowing four million more people into the UK, by uncontrolled mass immigration?

This has obviously put great pressure onto other important services too, hardly able to cope even at the moment with the vast numbers involved. Our international NHS, the completely unnecessary house building programme required to accommodate such vast numbers. Gas, electricity, water supplies, overstretched basic public services. The generous UK benefits system. The list is endless. Shame on you Blair and Brown.

Keith Jackson

Tavistock Close, Northampton

DEVELOPMENT

Bus station will be in the wrong place

I have long believed that Abington Street and Gold Street are the same streets nowadays, with the same type of pound shops and cafes.

That being the case, could the new bus interchange be in the wrong place and could it affect footfall in Abington Street and the Grosvenor Centre?

People who get off the bus at the new interchange will be able to walk down College Street, get all they want from Gold Street, nip to the market for their fresh fruit and veg and return to the bus, all without having to carry their goods around town and without even entering the Grosvenor Centre or Abington Street.

Elderly people can do all their shopping on one level and get everything they need from Gold Street, St Peter’s Walk and the market.

Norman Sharp

King Edward Road, 
Northampton

ROYAL MAIL

Privatisation will benefit Royal Mail

Your readers may be interested to understand what the recent announcement by the UK Government on the privatisation of Royal Mail means for our customers, our business and our people.

The UK Government has acknowledged it is not a good owner of large businesses. Private ownership will enable Royal Mail to become more flexible and fleet of foot in the fiercely competitive markets in which we operate. We will also have long-term access to capital when we need it.

The Government has made clear it doesn’t have the money to allocate to Royal Mail ahead of schools and hospitals.

We aim to combine the best of the public and private sectors. The six-day-a-week, one-price-goes-anywhere, affordable Universal Service will remain unchanged. It is protected by law – enshrined in the Postal Services Act 2011. Any change would have to be passed through an affirmative vote in both Houses of Parliament.

The Quality of Service regime that applies to Royal Mail under public ownership will continue to apply under private ownership. Royal Mail will continue to offer good value for money. UK stamp prices are among the best value in the EU.

Many previously Government-owned companies – like Rolls Royce and British Airways - have flourished under private ownership. We believe privatisation will equip Royal Mail for similar success.

Paul Whitehouse

Delivery Director

CLIMATE

Banks need to be more transparent

Many of us are making real efforts to combat climate change by cutting our own carbon emissions and working to make our local communities more sustainable.

But the banks and pension funds in which most of us invest our money are pouring billions of pounds into dirty coal, oil and gas around the world – yet we have no say in how this money is spent.

So as part of a campaign by 
the World Development 
Movement, I’m calling on the government to make banks and pension funds publish the carbon emissions from the fossil fuel projects they finance, so that we can start holding them to account and make them change their 
ways.

Ian Whippey

Cordwainer House, 
Northampton