I must admit to feeling a little torn with regard to recent events revolving around both the Cobblers and Saints. I make no secret of the fact I am a Cobblers fan, I also support the Saints success too. It is also true that I am a Liberal Democrate supporter, and would like to think I can class both Councillor Paul Varnsverry & Tony Clarke as friends.
Which is why I feel like banging their heads together (not to mention the clubs involved) over all this negativity and "fighting talk" that seems to be plaguing not only the local paper but also everywhere else from council meetings to the pub! It does make it awfully hard to choose where to sit when everyone seems at odds with each other!!
It just seems so farcical when you think about it, this council are trying (rightly or wrongly) to save this town from a slow and painful death, both sporting clubs are trying to improve their grounds and in turn bring more people to that area - and probably the town too...
However, neither club have (to my knowledge) put in planning applications. Fair enough you would think, but then seemingly that is the council’s fault. It also seems to be the council’s fault that neither club have been "allowed" a free run on planning and being allowed to do what they want, damn the town; it doesn't matter if it suffers - as long as we have the planning permission we want.
Then it is also the council’s fault that there are rules and laws both clubs and their supporters/spokesmen have to abide by, but it is the councils fault again - when will the council learn that this isn't good enough?
Of course I am aware that our council have not always got everything right, I am sure many will (with hindsight) agree with me; but it really does seem like a case of "you're damned if you do, and damned if you don't..."
I know that both clubs want to develop their grounds, and both deserve to be allowed to do so. I know that all members of the council want this, but; not at the expense of our town being destroyed even more.
I have heard many supporters of both clubs using Milton Keynes as an example, many times I have heard Councillor Clarke bemoan that it's been done there so why not here. And I agree with him, but I also now understand why it cannot be that way here...
The simple fact of the matter is that as a town we are just nowhere near thriving enough, we are so far behind MK that planning permissions there will have far less problems being accepted. Now I am nowhere near technical enough to understand what all these laws and rules mean, but in layman’s terms (and as I can understand it) it means that because we are not a vibrant successful town; any planning for out of town expansion will be “called in.” (Ask Councillor Clarke what that means)
And should either club decide to just go and do it anyway, and then the government will get involved and more than likely turn the plans down. Now I am sure that neither club want this; nor do their supports and nor do the council. Councillor Clarke knows (or should know) that this is what will happen, and as much as I respect him as a Councillor and like him as a man; I do have to question his judgment. Of course I would never judge his passion and desire for not only this town but also helping both clubs develop their grounds and the area surrounding them, his passion is renown in this town.
Maybe allowing Tesco’s to move into the old Woolworth store on Abington Street is not the right decision, maybe allowing an Asda supermarket to build on the outskirts of town is also wrong; maybe none of this will matter, maybe in a few years people will (with a change of administration) be flooding back to the town. Or maybe (as I fear) things will only get worse and more people will want to leave, regardless it is sometimes a matter of “trial and error” especially when running a council.
I guess the old saying is true; you can please some of the people some of the time, but not all of the people all of the time…