I M a little surprised in the current economic climate that Councillor Mike Shellens should be advocating spending more public money than is necessary on Godmanchester s controversial flood protection scheme (Letters, March 25). Many townsfolk reluctantly
I'M a little surprised in the current economic climate that Councillor Mike Shellens should be advocating spending more public money than is necessary on Godmanchester's controversial flood protection scheme (Letters, March 25).
Many townsfolk reluctantly accept the need for a slight raising of the Causeway wall as the least worst option of those proposed by the Environment Agency for the £6million scheme. Some believe the whole project is a waste of money.
However, Cllr Shellens is putting forward the proposal to spend more - a lot more - on a plan to infill a large swathe of the historic Causeway - by as much as 20 metres - to provide new seating, planting and extra parking.
I was told, by the firm bidding for the contract at the public meeting arranged by the EA, that this additional cost of turning the Causeway into a concrete jungle would be an estimated £250,000. This being public money, we can safely double that to £500,000 by the time it is completed and maybe even more. That's not counting the misery caused by hundreds of lorries trundling through our already busy streets loaded with over 2,000 tonnes of rubble to dump into the river.
That's an awful lot of money for a project that's not needed and more importantly not wanted by residents struggling to pay their bills, such as their hefty one for Council Tax, and trying to keep their heads afloat in these hard economic times.
After all, as Cllr Shellens himself admits, we already have an attractive river frontage.
So, if that's the case, why spend hundreds of thousands of pounds of our money subjecting our attractive Causeway to death by concrete?
One of the delights of the Causeway is seeing the full reflection of the Chinese Bridge in the river below. Perhaps Cllr Shellens might like to visit Godmanchester - he doesn't live here - to see this wonderful scene for himself before it is lost forever by this destructive scheme he so blithely supports.
I can only liken his idea for infilling the Causeway as being as unnecessary as giving the Mona Lisa a Victoria Beckham hairstyle in a bid to make her "more interesting" and "contemporary".
Cllr Shellens bases his proposal - which will irrecoverably damage our Causeway - on the response from 100 residents to a "survey".
Maybe the message he should be listening to - from the 5,900 residents who didn't respond - is simply: "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." Especially if it's going to cost taxpayers an extra £500,000, on top of the £6million it's already costing us.