Mione Goldspink's article for the Flyer, April 2018
By Mione Goldspink in Bishop's Stortford Flyer
Local Matters with Mione Goldspink April 2018
We are living in challenging times - internationally, nationally and locally. There are wars, refugees, climate changes and environmental pollution across the globe. Nationally, our Government seems to be so preoccupied with Brexit that it is neglecting many domestic problems. The NHS is at breaking point, there is a serious lack of affordable housing, and our schools are crying out for more funds.
Locally, our Councillors must make important decisions - firstly, on the Old Railway Goods Yard development, and secondly on the proposed 6-storey, Car Park at Northgate end. This car park would be enormous. It would loom over the little houses in Yew Tree Place. It would look very plain and utilitarian at the edge of the Conservation Area. Furthermore, it might make traffic congestion in the Town even worse, as the proposed exit is onto the Link Road, just at the spot where all the extra traffic from the new houses at B.S. North and from St Michael's Hurst comes down the Hadham Road and Rye Street and converges at Northgate. It might be better to build a smaller Car Park and then use the spare money to provide some sensible Park and Ride arrangements. (some Councillors have already voiced these ideas.)
This enormous car park is proposed in association with the proposed development on the Link Road car park. (Old River Lane site.) It is suggested that this could include a new, 500 seat theatre. I wonder what research has been done to justify the plans for such an expensive item. Our present theatre/arts complex at Rhodes centre seems to be functioning very well. It provides a good mixture of entertainment, and spaces for community meetings, activities, exhibitions, dancing schools, Dinners, and workshops. It also runs in conjunction with the Town Museum and the Cecil Rhodes Birthplace trust. Moving a viable, useful enterprise to a larger home might be a costly mistake.
Neighbouring Uttlesford Councillors also have a difficult decision to make. Stansted Airport has submitted a planning application to increase the maximum number of passengers to 43 million per annum. (up from 35million). Their decision could affect us all.
I conclude with a thought about Brexit :- Margaret Thatcher played an important role in setting up the Single Market in the 1980s - she championed it with enthusiasm. So why do the Conservatives think that we should leave it?
Chairman, Bishop's Stortford Liberal Democrats