Each week our readers send us letters on the big issues affecting Daventry, here is a selection of some of the best.
A key decision for the town’s future
Northampton College, in its letter last week, makes reference to our letter of the previous week.
In doing so it either misquotes deliberately or fails to understand some basic English. Either way it only amplifies our concern about the trust we can have in its statements.
The reasons why we think the college ‘site’ is such a valuable educational asset to the town is that it is well situated and large enough to provide excellent sporting and recreational facilities for students and the local community.
This will, we believe, be increasingly important in the future, or does the Daventry vision of its educational future accept that a small high tech college, offering beauty facilities and a café in the middle of a housing estate, is an acceptable reward for the loss of such an asset.
This is an important decision for Daventry and the public should have access to all relevant information.
For example we ask again whether the college plan is to complement, or compete with, the UTC and would appreciate information about the content of the proposal made by the college to obtain the £6 million government grant.
We believe very strongly that any decision on the plan proposed should be based on what is best for the long term interests of education in Daventry, not on any short term benefits to be gained by Northampton College.
Val & Colin Wiseman
Plans allow room for growth
Re: Letter from David Lee, Your Views, Daventry Express, March 5.
Mr Lee refers to perceived uncertainty over space for future expansion at the college’s planned new development at Badby Road West.
It is important to remember that the recent public consultation related to potential sale of some of the land for housing in an attempt to raise the necessary funds to make a new college building affordable.
The college building itself remains at the planning stages and detailed plans are yet to be revealed, although we hope to do this in the coming weeks so that we will be able to meet our ambition of opening in autumn 2016.
However, space for expansion has been carefully considered and is identified in our current plans.
We are confident that there will be room to grow at the current site with up to 200 additional college places in the future without further impact on the local environment.
It is also worth noting that there should be very little impact on trees and hedges around the site as plans take account of where these are currently located and work around them.
We are keen to preserve the natural environment and wildlife wherever possible.
Once again, the sale of land is absolutely necessary in order for the college to match the government grant funding as the new facilities cannot be afforded without disposing of some assets.
Our intention is to do this in a way that makes a minimal impact on the local environment while providing a valuable and much-needed contribution to education in the town.
It is essential that Daventry offers a range of high quality choices if we are to succeed in making an impact with a ‘new start’ and encourage young people and their parents to keep education local.
Buildings are not fit for purpose
Northampton College has a lovely new building in Northampton. Their buildings in Daventry, however, are old and not fit for purpose.
It would be very easy for them simply to abandon their Daventry outpost, sell the land and concentrate on their base in Northampton.
It is very exciting to see them instead choosing to invest millions of pounds in a revamped campus here in our town. It will be a great opportunity for hundreds of our local young people.
The college does need to raise money to help pay for the scheme. Its original plan, backed by Daventry District Council, was to build on open space off Ashby Road, and sell part of the existing site for housing. I am very pleased indeed that it has now decided to stay on its present site.
The district council has huge reserves and could well afford to help. In the absence of that help, the only way for the college to get the money it needs is to sell part of the site for housing.
The plans can and will be “tweaked” in response to concerns from local people – for example, hopefully to bring the new housing away from Gable Close. I hope local people will raise any positive suggestions they have for improving the plans. I know the college will look at such suggestions very seriously.
Overall though the new college campus is wonderful news for our town. I hope we can all come together and give the college a clear message: you are very welcome here in Daventry.
County Councillor (UKIP)
End allowances ‘gravy train’
Great to read in the Gusher this week that Cllrs Atterbury and Over are standing down at the next election. About time!
Between them, these two gentlemen have cost the council taxpayers of Daventry about £200,000 over the years for very little return.
Mr Millar (cost to council taxpayers over £170,000), Mr Hills (cost over £84,000): don’t be shy. Go now.
What worries me most though is that, whilst we can look forward to seeing the back of Atterbury and Over, and hope that Millar and Hills will follow, there’s a new generation of Tory councillor coming through.
These are best represented by Cllrs Gilford, Eddon and Howard who, although only recently elected, have already cost in excess of £75,000 combined – and for what?
What Daventry really needs right now is an end to the councillor allowances gravy chain.
As a district, we need a truly independent group of councillors who will act in the best interests of all of our community, not as slaves to any particular party agenda, and who will be prepared to work for us all for no financial return.
Call me old fashioned, but that’s what councillors are supposed to do isn’t it?.
Note: Mr Biggins has informed us figures are taken from Daventry District Council website and FOI requst.
Still too many are not registered
Mr Vincent, Daventry Council’s Chief Executive, may not have recognised my figures on the reduction in the numbers registered to vote (Letters, March 5), but I have sent him my calculations.
However, it appears that more people have registered since the political parties were provided with registers, and that is good news.
But there still appears to be a very large number who have not registered.
While it is unlikely fines of £80 for non-registration will be imposed, it is a concern that so many people will not be able to choose who they want to represent them on the council and in Parliament.
Labour Candidate for
Brighter outlook for shelter users
May I thank Daventry District Council for the recent cleaning of the shelters in Daventry Bus Station.
This I do on behalf of the bus passengers who use the facility on a daily or weekly basis. We now have a brighter environment in which to wait for our next bus.
Chair, Bus Users U.K. Northampton Group