Mione Goldspink's article for the Flyer, September 2018
By Mione Goldspink in The Stortford Flyer
Local Matters with Mione Goldspink September, 2018.
In spite of the fact that none of the expected difficulties with the 6-storey Car Park at Northgate End has been resolved, the Conservative District Council has given itself Planning Permission for this to be built. So, the Army Cadet Corps and the other users of the Youth Centre will all lose their valued green space. There will be a huge increase in number of pedestrians trying to cross the busy main road - possibly 2 million people per year. Traffic congestion will be dramatically increased, with peak-time delays even worse than those at Little Hadham. Some of the residents of Yew Tree Place will feel badly affected. The Council needs this car park to be built before it can proceed with building a new Theatre on the existing car park. I question the wisdom of the whole of this scheme.
Another scheme, which seems to me to be rather foolish, is the scheme for the Markwell Pavilion in Castle Gardens. The Tory Town Council is proposing to divide the larger room into 2, thus making a small community room and a small café. It also proposes to make the smaller room (known as the Elsie Barrett Room) into a terraced area. I have hired the Markwell Pavilion for various events in the past: for Quiz Evenings, Town Twinning Meals and Cream Teas etc: and found it an excellent community hall. The thought of dividing it into 2 fills me with dismay. It would not be big enough for a Café to cater for 100's of people at the Saturday Park Run, nor for 100s visiting the Castle Mound on a Sunday afternoon. Nor would it be big enough to hire out (The Town Band used to practise there) I implore the Town Council "Please, don't destroy a perfectly good facility -just enlarge one of the kitchens and then use it as it is, as a reasonable café plus a Community Hall." There is also a proposal to convert the present Toilet Block on the Link Road into a new community room -this seems expensive and unsatisfactory. Why not demolish the whole block and build something better?
Having been critical of the District Council over the Multi-Storey car park, there is one of its decisions of which I approve:- that is, its decision to phase out the use of Single-Use Plastics in all Council buildings and activities. We should all do the same.
Chairman, Bishop's Stortford Liberal Democrats