Locals will be brushed aside

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I understand that Phase 1 of Desborough Leisure Centre has been completed at The Grange in Desborough but I have not seen any statement about how Phase 2, which contains additional facilities, will be funded.

I gather that the sale of the Hawthorns will not generate funds for Phase 2 but will disappear into Kettering’s coffers and then Desborough will face additional charges to replace its squash courts and other amenities.

Is it true that we local taxpayers have also been charged many thousands of pounds for the managers of the leisure centre to transport most of the dilapidated equipment up to the new centre?

I am also puzzled by the Tesco-funded, proposed ‘improvements’ to the townscape which seem to serve only to focus on the end of town that will direct people towards their proposed store and away from Station Road.

Recent reports in your paper show how the town centre partnership, once ardent advocates of Tesco, are willing to consider that the impact of a big international retailer in town might drive local businesses down. The much-trumpeted ‘new jobs’ mantra seldom takes account of jobs lost by competitor businesses, well documented in other similar towns.

Planners and developers obviously have motorists in mind when they conceive of new developments and rarely consider the needs of pedestrians.

It all makes me wonder what the logic is in refusing the Sainsbury’s bid and the town council’s alternative plan for the Hawthorns with Desborough Community Development Trust’s involvement, both convincingly endorsed by local poll and petition.

I fear that the new localism will end in Kettering with the odd nod to the town council while truly local initiatives will continue to be disdainfully brushed aside.

Robert J Orr, MEd