There are many issues of concern to Loves Farm residents but there is currently one single overriding issue of concern to all residents of St Neots, including those of Loves Farm, which will affect them and generations to come.
That is the proposed economic development and regeneration of the town centre – a project desperately needed after a period of decline .
On the strength of a “masterplan”, £12.8 million of public money has been made available to help the town re-establish itself as a vibrant place in which to live and in which to welcome visitors. But how precisely is it to be spent?
- What does a “redeveloped” Priory Centre look like and cost if it is to cater sensibly for every art, craft and social activity of interest to every age? If not all, which will take priority?
- How are sites like the Old Falcon Inn to be acquired? Compulsory Purchase is a power to be exercised sparingly as it is an exceedingly complex, protracted and costly process; Regardless, what are the proposals for it – hotel, restaurant, shops? – and what is the demand?
- What provision is there for improving public transport links, ensuring disabled access to the buildings and the surrounding Priory Quarter, protecting and enhancing the fragile riverside environment and eco-system?
- Assuming a suitable site can be found, how much will it cost and how long will it take to relocate and rebuild the Rowing Club?
- What disruption to traffic, pedestrians and Market Square residents is envisaged during the construction phase and how will it be managed?
- Have sufficient funds been set aside to operate and maintain whatever is being built?
HDC administrators may have perfectly good answers to these simple questions but we, the residents have not been told so they need to be asked and explored in depth. Dr Geoff Seeff your Liberal Democrat candidate on 8th July has 30 years’ professional experience as an advisor on regeneration has seen the good, bad and the downright ugly. He wants to represent you by putting those and many other questions to the planners. If HDC gets it wrong, it goes wrong for all of us and the £12.8 million will trickle away before our eyes.
Geoff knows that people are fed up with having regeneration DONE to them rather than FOR them. Geoff wants to make sure regeneration is NOT DONE to you and, as far as is possible, to ensure that a scheme is brought to fruition that reflects what you need and what you want. He can only do that if you vote for him on 8th July.