Sawtry sex shop hearing in St Ives - what price localism?

ON coming to power, the Coalition government issued its own manifesto; a joint manifesto. It pointed, as the Conservatives had done previously, to a determination to give local communities more say over what went on in their community.

Perhaps the powers that be in Pathfinder House missed it. For, now that they have fixed the date for the hearing about the Sawtry Sex Shop, that particular ambition seems to have gone right out of the window.

The hearing is fixed for December 16 (not December 14 as printed on your letters page this week) at The Burgess Hall, St Ives. It will start at 9.30am, during normal working hours, rather than the evening meetings usually arranged by HDC.

People from this community who want to attend face a 30-minute drive or an even longer indirect bus journey, changing in Huntingdon. People who work will need to take a day’s leave, and parents who need to take children to school will be unable to get there in time. However, I would still urge as many Sawtry residents as possible to attend.

But how many of the nearly 300 people who attended the public meeting in this village on August 25 do you think will be present at the all-important hearing? Will the members of the licensing panel get a true feeling for how much opposition there is in this community? Somehow, I think not.


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