Town centres have lost heart

Asda has not revitalised Rushden's high street, says Mark Milton-Smith
Asda has not revitalised Rushden's high street, says Mark Milton-Smith
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When Asda came to Rushden there were promises of it “revitalising” the high street, but after all this time, such revitalisation has not happened!

If the Rushden Lakes project goes ahead the town centre will decline further.

The town centre has lost its sparkle, as have the town centres in Wellingborough, Kettering and Northampton, since their retail business parks were established.

Town centres would still be vibrant if such projects didn’t exist, which has sadly moved “town centres” out of the heart of many towns.

Council planning officers are to blame for these problems which have seen many of the small independent traders unable to continue trading, as there’s no longer enough town centre business to enable them to survive.

Many people are looking forward to the lakes project, but it will see nearby town centres fade away through lack of business.

Competition may be good for business but will ruin or wipe out many businesses already struggling for survival as time progresses.

Mark Milton-Smith


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We need more stringent checks

It was interesting to read in the Telegraph about the smoking chimney. It seems as though anybody can fit these supposedly smoke-free wood burners without any thought of where, or how the smoke can get away.

Many of the bungalows built in the latter part of the 20th century were not built with chimneys that were meant to have open or enclosed fires; they were intended just as a ventilation shaft for gas fires or back boilers.

If you look, a lot of these chimneys are at the side of the property and not at the top which means that the prevailing wind pushes the smoke, and more importantly fumes, down to the ground.

We appear to be going backwards now, due mostly to the energy companies’ exceptionally high rising prices.

There ought to be a more stringent check of the installation of smoking fires and their output, or else we might as well scrap the no smoking law, as I don’t know which is worse, cigarette smoke or wood smoke and fumes.

And I do speak with experience of this, due to a recent clash with Kettering Council.

It would be interesting to see how many people are affected by this and how it can be dealt with.

D A Garrett


UKIP may be the only alternative

As an ordinary citizen, I find the scheming and greed of our politicians one ghastly puzzle, yet one group appears to possess the talents to cause a revolution in our first past the post electoral system and that is UKIP.

The savage attacks on UKIP by the other groups suggest that my suggestion is correct.

It is a shame that less than two years away from one of the most important General Elections since the Second World War, the manoeuvring of of our supposed experts seems so unskilled.

UKIP seems to be thinking that it is a viable alternative to the Conservatives.

This may well be so, but there is just not enough of them to form a government so the best they can hope for, initially, is a coalition partnership with the Conservatives or be a powerful section of the opposition.

Many of UKIP’s policies are very attractive to ordinary citizens like myself.

However, to oppose the Conservatives in Conservative constituencies is foolish because they would simply split the Conservative vote and Labour could creep in.

A coalition would then be much more positive than the present fiasco.

R Crisp


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Two ancestors were plotters

I would love to be at the fireworks show at Boughton House but I will be there in thought as two of my cousins were involved in the plot as they were two of the 12.

Francis Tresham and Robert Catesby are fourth cousins, 11 times removed of mine.

They were first cousins themselves.

I do brag about that and more so when visiting in-laws and friends in Kettering.

Their mothers were Throckmorton sisters and Throckmorton was executed as a cohort of Queen Mary. The connection is on my maternal grandmothers side of family.

Fred Knippel

By email

Penalty notice is certainly no joke

Here’s a funny story. When I retired recently my colleagues gave me a £30 Debenhams voucher.

Travelling to Bedford to spend it, I strayed into a bus lane. Being an exit from a roundabout you don’t realise it’s there until you are on it.

I duly got a penalty notice delivered. As I like a bargain, I got 50 per cent discount by paying promptly.

Net result, break even, with a £30 fine.

Not funny? Bedford Council should be laughing.

Roger Fowkes


Tory party has betrayed people

After listening to David Cameron’s speech at the Conservative Party conference, it appears the privileged boys of Eton College want a land of opportunity.

An opportunity for rich landowners like his father-in-law to earn £70,000 per year for each large wind turbine on his land – all subsided by the taxpayer with the poor consumer having to pay higher tax and higher prices and be driven into fuel poverty.

Meanwhile, the front page of a national newspaper quoted Europol saying the number of Romanians gangs are using cheap flights to come to the UK and steal at will.

While there are one million unemployed British youths in the UK – because we are in the EU – even more citizens from Romania and Bulgaria can come here to work and claim benefits, thus causing greater unemployment and under-cutting wages of working class people.

And as the economic crisis rages through Europe what was Cameron doing?

Spending his time introducing “gay marriage” to please the luvvies of Notting Hill in London.

But after years of people calling for the Tories to keep its election promise to introduce a marriage tax credit, what do they get – £200 a year. Not enough to help parents pay £9,000 tuition fees per year for their children at college.

Far from fostering opportunity, Cameron stands up only for his privileged friends.

All the while this is happening, Cameron’s party are voting for more power for EU institutions over the British people.

The Tory Party has betrayed the ordinary working people of Britain.

They can see that and hence, they vote in increasing numbers for UKIP.

Derek Clark

UKIP MEP for the East Midlands

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Well done for adopting village

Well done to Corby Council for voting to adopt Rigul village in Tibet.

I hope this not only raises much awareness of the Tibet issue in the Corby area, but is also the start of a new grassroots campaign which will see councils across the UK taking the same strong stand to support the people of Tibet.

The news came in just as I was writing the monthly email to our members and supporters, so I have managed to include the news and have just sent it out to about 1,500 people!

Plus, I’ve just noticed that the Tibetan government in exile – the Central Tibetan Administration – have picked up the report in the Northamptonshire Telegraph and added it to the front page of their website at

Paul Golding

Campaigns Co-ordinator

The Tibet Society