Your letters, January 23, 2014

We have a full postbag of your letters on a range of views
We have a full postbag of your letters on a range of views

Your Views - here are the letters published in the Harborough Mail on Janaury 23, 2014.

As usual, there are lots of views and opinions on a host of subjects in this week’s Mail.

OTTERS: Beware of their huge appetite

While I can perfectly understand the interest in otters spotted in the local River Welland, those that wonder at these beautiful creatures should also be wary of the devastation they can cause.

Sam Gandy of The Welland River Trust is correct about one thing in that the otter is an apex predator.

The otter has a voracious appetite that holds no bounds and I would argue against Mr Gandy’s claim, unless he has a fish-stock survey that shows otherwise, that the shallow stretch of river that runs through the town will hold anywhere near enough fish to sustain even a small family of otters. I was also surprised at his comment regarding fish in UK rivers being mostly carnivorous and destructive in high numbers.

Most freshwater fish are not carnivorous and Mr Gandy is obviously blissfully unaware of the dwindling numbers in our waterways due to predation over many years by the cormorant.

When the food runs low in the river running through Harborough, and it will do very quickly, that I am afraid is when the otter turns from a cute character into something a lot more sinister as they look for easier prey for their next meal.

It was reported in the Harborough Mail that during the last sightings of 0tters in the area that one resident’s garden pond was predated of koi carp to the value of over £15,000.

Read the Mail story here from January 2012: Something fishy going on with naughty otters.

Commercial fisheries up and down the country have been decimated by otters, and fishery owners are investing tens of thousands of pounds in fencing to protect their stocks and livelihoods

The RSPB has also reported that breeding programmes of various rare birds is also being severely disrupted due to otter predation around Norfolk’s River Wensum.

Indeed, Pensthorpe Nature Reserve, the home of BBC’s Springwatch, has said that the 0tter is having a hugely disruptive impact on the breeding of avocets.

Of course, nature must balance out but there is a real danger of otters leaving areas totally devoid of fish and other water-based birds and animals.

I would urge those in and around the Harborough area who may have expensive ornamental fish ponds to be on guard and any fishery owners to consider erecting anti-otter fencing.

Matthew James, Market Harborough

TESCO: More logical site for a new store

If our town needs a large Tesco, the questions are when and where?

At present we are served by a range of supermarkets including two smaller Tescos.

Residents who want the facilities that a large Tesco store offers can go to either Kettering or Corby, both of which are less than half-an-hour drive away.

If the town expands, any significant development will be limited to the north and west as the south and east are restricted by county boundaries and the Welland flood plain.

It seems to me any new supermarket should be developed at the same time as large residential expansion to serve those new properties. The logical site would be on the north-west edge of town and this would have the added attraction of encouraging shoppers from Husbands Bosworth and Kibworth.

Richard Boyes, By email

MARKET: Lack of signage is a major concern

I attended the Sunday antiques market at Welland Park Academy and was very disappointed, and yet not surprised, that the council had not put any signage directing people to the venue.

I was even more disappointed when arriving at the venue itself that there was nothing advertising the antiques market.

The hall which is being used is not visible from the road so therefore makes it very difficult to attract passing trade unless there is some sort of advertising on the railings/gate/building at the academy.

The council has had some considerable time to have arranged banners/poster, but there was nothing!

Surely it’s not too much to ask, especially when they still have a large banner on the front wall of the Market Hall on the A508 advertising the Sunday market every Sunday.

Why was this not taken down and put up at the new venue?

Ann Pembroke, By emai

MARKET: History could be repeating itself

I read with interest articles about the temporary wooden chalets for stallholders on The Square. I especially noted that at least one stallholder said he might regret returning to the Market Hall after its refurbishment.

When researching for our 1992 documentary film about the old markets of the town, an interesting point was revealed.

After the livestock market was removed from the streets to the new cattle market in 1903, up to 70 retail stalls occupied The Square on market days. In 1937 these stalls were ousted to make way for extensive roadworks which included the construction of two large roundabouts.

The urban council decided to build a covered market in Northampton Road and in the meantime the stalls were temporarily located on the site of the demolished brewery next to the river – where the present market hall now stands.

However, when the building was nearing completion in 1938, the council received a petition from 45 stallholders wanting to return to The Square rather than move into the new Market Hall.

Could this be repeated in 2014?

Market Harborough Movie Makers have a library of our archive films and are still producing films of local events which we hope will be viewed with interest in years to come.

Details can be found at

Peter Wilford, Market Harborough Movie Makers

TESCO: People would use it to avoid traffic

Why is there so much hysteria at the prospect of Tesco relocating to the old Focus site?

To read some of the letters in the Harborough Mail, one is led to believe that if Tesco opens a store at this location the town centre would become deserted.

I think Mary Punter made a very good point that it might help to relieve the traffic problems on the roads and in the car parks, issues that the council seems unable to address.

People may actually use the new store to avoid the traffic problems that currently exist.

It would be more to the point if, as a condition of the planning permission, Tesco were required to give the store on The Square a facelift, as in its present form it really is an eyesore.

Graham Eldridge, by email

TESCO: Don’t turn us into a ghost town

I hope we don’t get a new Tesco built in Market Harborough as little thought has gone into how busy the Rockingham Road, Ashley Way and Kettering Road areas are going to be.

They are bad enough now with existing traffic.

It will be near a school too.

Tesco’s new store would make Market Harborough a ghost town. We have enough supermarkets already with plenty parking spaces.

Karen Stapleton, by email

TESCO: You must be a shareholder!

In response to Mary Punter’s letter in the Mail last week; I can only presume she is a Tesco shareholder or likes to shop in the wee small hours!

When I last checked, we had half a dozen cold meat and delicatessen counters within 500 yards of the town centre.

Do we really need another?

Duncan Murray, Duncan Murray Wines, Adam & Eve Street, Market Harborough

THANK YOU: Air cadets are so very grateful

The Air Training Cadets and everyone at 1084 (Market Harborough) Squadron wish to say a big thank you to the customers of Sainsbury’s who were so generous at our Christmas bag packing event.

Your support and encouraging comments are very much appreciated.

The money raised will be used for the cadets’ welfare and provision of necessary equipment for the various squadron activities, especially replacement instruments for the squadron band.

Max Corney, civilian committee chairman 1084 (Market Harborough) Squadron Air Training Corps

THANK YOU: Recovering after great kindness

Thank you to the occupants of the two cars and the pedestrian who stopped to help us when we stumbled off the kerb into the road at 6pm on Tuesday, January 14, in Bowden Lane.

They not only helped us up but also offered us lifts home.

Apart from a few bruises, we are fine.

Ron and Glenys Fleet, Market Harborough

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