A selection of letters to the Daventry Express (December 23)
All quiet on the council’s front
YOUR front page report (Quiet on cuts, December 16) once more highlights the underhand way that the ruling body on Daventry District Council (DDC) continues to act.
‘We know best’ and ‘spin, spin, spin’ is about all we get these days.
It would be amazing if DDC had not considered the likelihood of a substantial reduction in the grant received from Government and I would equally expect that its future plans are already almost fully formulated – needing only the announcement of the final grant figure from Westminster.
Why are we hearing so much about cuts now?
It is because of the profligacy of all levels of government over the past generation and the need to prevent further descent into the financial abyss for us, our children and our grandchildren.
Cllr Millar and his merry men (and women) continue to believe that they are operating in a rarefied environment where such restraint and constraints do not apply to them.
Why is DDC still expected to submit a planning application for a canal arm – the costs of which are almost certainly not to be underwritten by the private sector or reclaimed from central government?
Why is DDC determined to push ahead with the WaterSpace when the people of Daventry town clearly have said they do not want it?
And how about a futuristic pod system, with yet more money spent on further trips, surveys and meetings?
I recently attended a briefing by the West Northamptonshire Joint Planning Unit where I was shocked to learn its chairman – Cllr Millar wearing yet another hat – had requested an increase in the number of houses allocated to Daventry district while South Northants and Northampton Borough Council have had their proposed building target reduced.
Perhaps it is the possibility that the extra 1,200 houses desired by Cllr Millar (beyond those already planned to 2026) will produce enough revenue to pay for these somewhat unpopular and very low priority schemes.
I do not think the maths works – take 1,200 extra houses of an average size of three bedrooms, multiply by the average council tax that each will pay over a six year period and that is the amount of revenue generated by those houses – perhaps £5 million at the very most.
That doesn’t pay for the canal arm or the minimum pod system!
Its not all brickbats – I welcome the status granted to the western meadows alongside the Country Park but, like Cllr Catherine Lomax, I question why the whole park was not granted protected status in 2006 when I know some councillors fighting to protect it were being frustrated by procedure and protocol at that time.
Can DDC actively protect this area by giving it charitable status – a worthwhile and low cost project providing a lasting investment for the whole community that is long overdue?
We can still give our suggestions
DDC may not be asking the public for suggestions about areas in which savings could be made, but that does not stop us from offering them.
I would like to suggest as a prime candidate for abolition the vanity publication Daventry Calling (and indeed its counterpart from the county council).
This ludicrous magazine contains no information that is not easily available from other sources and serves no purpose other than to inflate the egos of councillors and officials.
I do not know what it costs to produce and distribute but whatever it is will be a welcome saving.
No grit put on our main roads
I AM very amazed that, despite severe weather warnings on Sunday, Northamptonshire County Council failed to grit the major routes in Daventry (from what I saw none).
All roads had ice or snow and Drayton Way had large patches of black ice. A minor accident occurred at about 5pm causing delays before the police arrived.
We need to have assurance from NCC that major routes in Daventry are gritted and safe as we do seem to be the poor relation for care from NCC.
A kind person cleared the ice
WHOEVER gritted the path in front of the four bungalows, numbers 15-21 in Highfield Road, Daventry, a big thank you from me. It was very kind of you.
Name and address supplied
Fire service was a fantastic help
THE firemen of Daventry Fire Station deserve a thank you for the kindness they showed my husband Richard and myself on Friday, December 10, when I hurt my leg badly.
Also the taxi driver that came and took us home and the service at the Abbey House Medical Practice was first class. Thank you.
Pauline Mandefield Address supplied
Ask my views on museum future
DAVENTRY Town Council has allocated up to £50,000 to be spent on a consultant to help revamp the town’s museum (Revamp for the town’s museum, Daventry Express, December 9).
I would like to know where I can apply for this position?
The first thing I would do is to put the museum back in the long disused Moot Hall.
This would give it more space to have its artefacts on permanent display.
The council’s museum committee chairman, Peter Harper, wants to use the museum as a vehicle to attract people into Daventry.
Surely this is the most obvious way to achieve this as it would be in a more prominent position, rather than in some room or other in the council offices on the first Saturday morning of the month.
Also the children he wants to benefit from the museum would be able to visit during the week as part of their school curriculum.
I also think it is imperative for a town that is wanting to attract tourism to the area to have a tourist information centre.
This can also be housed in the same building.
All the boat people coming into Daventry on the proposed canal link will need somewhere to go in order to find out more about our town.
The Friends of the Museum website still gives the location for the museum as being in a building opposite the library.
This is hardly going to help anyone to find exactly where it is should they wish to visit.
Wasting money on consultants?
COULD you please ask this question to Daventry Town Council.
How much money have you wasted of our hard-earned cash on giving money to consultants for our museum?
If it can’t use the money wisely, refund it to each and every council tax payer within the area.
Reduce the business rates on units, which will encourage jobs back through the area.
This council seems to have no idea and looks after its own close friends.
Cost of fighting wind farm plans
I HAVE just read that DDC has spent around £68,000 of our funds on opposing wind farms in the region.
This is a disgusting amount to be spent and even worse it’s to oppose a project that is vitally needed by the whole country.
I am amazed that anyone would ever oppose a wind farm considering the alternative. I am sure that if someone said “okay, we won’t build a nice clean, quiet wind farm, here is your nuclear power plant,” that there would be outrage.
Come on people! We need alternative forms of power. And considering the choice of another nuclear power plant on your doorstep (and yes anywhere one is built in the UK is on your doorstep if it has a leak or incident) I know what I would prefer and I am by no means a Green Party member.
Stop spending money on opposing and get on with building them.
Mind you, considering the ludicrous marina the council wants to build and the mess that is the iCon centre I am not surprised at its monumental stupidity.
I work next to one in Reading and it’s very peaceful sometimes to watch the blades turning in the wind. And yes it’s very quiet, even at full tilt.
Fact or fixation
I SEE that Mr Kay (Letters, Daventry Express, December 9) and his friends still believe that they are in support of carbon reduction and a nice clean planet.
May I make a few points.
1) Denmark and Germany have admitted that wind power is a failed and costly experiment that has not reduced CO2 levels.
In any case water vapour is a bigger problem than CO2 which is essential to plant life.
2) China is planning a £1 trillion investment in ‘strategic industries’ over the next five years – including exporting wind turbines to the gullible west such as us.
Each turbine has a magnet made of a metal called neodymium, refined only in China by a process that creates radioactive thorium, a very dangerous waste product which is a serious pollutant. This can hardly benefit the planet!
I still maintain that we need to harness our rivers and streams for water power, which has served in so many other ways for many years.
I wish Mr Kay would get off his soapbox and try dealing with facts rather than green fixations.
Mrs G Hobbs
Is optimism in town deserved?
I READ, with optimism, Cllr Chris Millar’s letter in last week’s Daventry Express.
It seemed to promise a move away from Daventry’s present unenviable position as the warehouse capital of the UK.
I must apologise for not having read the Sunday Times article to which he refers but was intrigued by this sentence in his letter: “It also highlighted a number of our local businesses who are doing well and made mention of the soon to be opened iCon centre which will offer 60 business incubator units, some of them university spin-offs.”
I am curious to know what makes some of the units “university spin-offs”.
Are these materially different from the other units, or is Cllr Millar merely expressing a vain hope that some of the units will be taken up by research-based businesses?
Perhaps he could use these pages to enlighten my fellow citizens and me.
A VIP thank you
ON BEHALF of the Daventry and District Visually Impaired People’s (VIP) Club, I would like to thank all the members of the Conservative Club for their kind donation.
Chairman, VIP Club