Letters to the Harborough Mail - 10th April 2008

I hope I'm wrong but eco-town does seem a foregone conclusion

I AM a resident of Great Glen having lived in the village for the past 28 years.

Since I moved to the village I have seen houses spring up all over. With these new developments I have witnessed many changes:

Village gymkhana - gone

Village fete - gone

Village quiz - gone

Boys' brigade - gone

St John cadets - gone

Local bus between Great Glen and Wigston via Oadby - gone

Other smaller groups - gone.

These changes came about for numerous reasons but mainly because the people moving into the new properties have no interest or wish to actively take part. They live in the village and commute out for entertainment.

This Government has no interest in rural areas or those activities that those people living in the villages take part in. Local transport was the first to go. The most recent local post offices.

I am of the opinion that whatever is said against this eco town the decison is already agreed. The city area of Leicester is bulging at the seams with little or no room for expansion. The properties in the city are old and I believe that the eco town will be seen as a way to relieve the pressure and not neccessarily to allow new people to move to Leicestershire. Let's be fair – who would want to move here anyway.

I remember a couple of years back, after the bypass was opened we had a survey to suggest where development could go ahead and not affect the appearance of the village. I understand that the area most suggested was that area between the old A6 and the new A6 going out of Great Glen towards Kibworth. The area around the war memorial would then be redeveloped into the centre of the village.

I for one would be getting on a plane and moving abroad like many others are doing or thinking about but at 62 years it's too late for me. I think that if this Government carries on as it is we shall become the new third world and I am afraid that in the years to come I feel that serious matters will arise and problems amongst the many different groups will become the norm. When I look back over the years from my youth I ask 'Where did we go wrong?'

On the television this week we have heard about a group in the House of Lords reporting that immigration must be greatly reduced as more and more enter our country. The Government however declined to accept this report and brush it aside as they do most things. We are a small country and cannot allow everyone to enter. Perhaps if the Lords report was accepted the eco town would not be needed.

The point to my ramblings is this. I believe as I said before, this eco town is already a foregone conclusion.

Needed to house the new arrivals or those being displaced to make way for them. I do hope I am wrong.

R Haynes,

Oakfield Close, Great Glen.

*********

County council to hear of selfish attitude

IN A letter in last week's Harborough Mail headed 'Accidents waiting to happen as a result of indiscriminate parking', Robert Knight referred to the improper parking of cars on Heygate Street and Doddridge Road, blocking the vision of other drivers at the junctions, and the access for disabled wheelchair users and mothers with prams on the pavements.

I, as his district councillor, and enforcement portfolio holder for the district council, concur with his sentiments, in that such selfish behaviour of these car owners is making the risk of an accident much more probable and restricting the access of emergency vehicles. I am appalled at the lack of consideration these drivers, appear to give other road and pavement users and the apparent disregard to the safety of others by parking on the road in this area and not using the car park provided. Surely the cost of a life is worth far more than the price of a car park ticket? As he states, the police have leafleted offending cars for causing an obstruction, but having handed over the responsibility for enforcing on-street parking to Leicestershire County Council, they no longer have time to check on all reported parking obstructions on a day-to-day basis.

The creation of on-street traffic regulation orders and the painting of any road markings is the responsibility of the county council highways authority to carry out and not Harborough District Council. Whilst the district council run parking attendants for on-street and off-street parking enforcement, they work on behalf of LCC for on-street and cannot enforce areas where there are no orders or lines in place. As a recently elected district councillor, this disregard for safety has been going on too long in Market Harborough and I fully support Mr Knight's campaign to have this area and similar hot-spots like Burnmill road, placed under a Traffic Regulation Order. I will personally write to the highways authority on his behalf, but would urge all those who support him to also contact the highways authority on 0116 305 0001 and ask them to address these issues.

Alistair Swatridge,

district councillor, Great Bowden and Arden ward.

*********

The help that can transform lives of adults with autism

AS THE parent of a child with autism I am worried about what will happen as they get older.

Autism is a lifelong condition, yet as 'I Exist', the new report from The National Autistic Society has found, many adults with the disability struggle to get the help they so desperately need. Many feel isolated and ignored and are dependent on their families for support. I want to see the right services and support in place so people with autism in Harborough can reach their true potential.

That is why I'm supporting the NAS 'think differently about autism' campaign. I urge people to visit www.think-differently.org.uk and help put pressure on local and national government to do more to transform the lives of adults with autism.

Jenny Cornwell,

Kingston Way, Harborough.

*********

Will development spread bring council tax rebates?

IF, on Government orders, the building of the eco-town (whatever that means) of Pennbury goes ahead, it could soon spread like a pyroclastic flow, engulfing local communities and eventually Harborough, which would become a suburb of Greater Leicester.

Will home owners who have seen their council tax soar because they have beautiful views across open countryside then get a rebate?

I doubt if Housing Minister Caroline Flint has ever strayed further into the countryside than Hyde Park.

John Haynes,

High Street, Welford.

*********

More Transition events on horizon after success of Megan visit

IN A mini coup Transition Town Market Harborough managed to secure the services of Megan Quinn while she was in the country to come to our town and show her film and do a talk for us on the subject of 'Peak Oil'.

This was our first event and so we were a little apprehensive to see how comfortable Harborough would welcome our efforts. Posters were distributed around the town and we were pleased to gain permission to have our posters put up in the Farndon Fields Farm Shop and the

Co-op.

The Harborough Mail ran two articles to help promote the event, HFM listed the event in the community events and in a couple of extra items along with an interview on the day with Megan. BBC Radio Leicester took a sound byte off us and played it for a week so our media coverage was exhaustive.

A steady trickle entered the room including some familiar faces from 'Transition Leicester' and 'Sustainable Billesdon' and many more that were new to us. In total I think we had 40 attend the event.

Megan's speech was well received and the film was very much enjoyed by the audience. The Mail turned up to video the Q and A session on the film before we stopped for a refreshments break where Marion Turner asked the audience to consider what they could do as individuals and also what could be done as a community.

No one left in the break apart from Chris Sewart, who had to leave, but from our brief conversation before he left it was obvious that he felt uplifted and enthused by the experience.

A 30-minute discussion on

the issues raised ensued,

facilitated by Marion and myself before we wrapped up the

event.

Congratulations must go to Mark Baverstock for MC-ing the evening and keeping a tight schedule on track. Also thanks must be given to Marion for her input to the event, not forgetting Mark's wife Gillian and children as well as Lydya, who manned the refreshments station with a most professional manner and took the entrance money.

The atmosphere of the event was wonderful and a sure sign that there will be plenty more successful Transition events on the horizon.

The group still, however, made a small loss on the event which will have to come out of our own pockets but we are overall very satisfied with the event.

Lastly many thanks to Kirby and West, who donated the milk for the event (glass reusable organic semi skimmed) and to Sainsbury's, who donated a jar of Fairtrade coffee and a box of tea bags. Leicester First Aid Team, who had attended the event on the understanding that a donation would be made, were so impressed that they donated

their attendance for free. Thank you to you guys... Conrad and Wilf.

Darren Woodiwiss,

Newcombe Street, Harborough.

l See our website, www.harboroughmail.co.uk for film coverage of the interview with Megan Quinn and the subsequent Q and A session.

*********

No sympathy for anyone benefiting from factory farming practices

IN response to the letter of Anthony Goodger (March 6) with regard to the plight of the UK pig farmers.

The last time that I saw a free-range pig, in its natural environment, was about 26 years ago at a farm near Arthingworth.

So I can only assume that the pigs that Mr Goodger is talking about are all factory farmed.

Pigs which are kept in sheds and barns, on concrete floors, have never seen the light of day, have never felt the sun or wind on their bodies, never run around a field, or wallowed in the mud, wouldn't know what a blade of grass, a hedgerow or tree looked like. Then they have the gall and audacity to refer to themselves as pig farmers.

If this is the best they can do to their pigs, the sooner pig farming is finished with the better.

I have not the slightest sympathy for anyone who fills their pockets with such a cruel practice.

Gwen Farrow,

Marlborough Way, Harborough.

*********