THE standard of care that we as a community of parents, residents, elected members and officials provide for our younger and vulnerable residents must rate as one our highest responsibilities.

THE standard of care that we as a community of parents, residents, elected members and officials provide for our younger and vulnerable residents must rate as one our highest responsibilities.

Sawtry is a great community. It has amenities that make it self-sufficient for daily needs and it provides plenty of leisure activities for people of all ages.

Above all, it is safe. Parents can be assured that their children will be free from harm to walk around the village, and adults can feel free from worry as the streets are safe.

When an application for a sex establishment on the doorstep comes in, it's easy to see how the way of life enjoyed by residents is threatened.

Parents would have to explain to their children what 'adult shop' means and curious teenagers may chance their luck to enter the building in defiance of ­parents who can't be expected to supervise their children's every waking moment.

How can we be assured of the robustness of the door entry procedures so that they can prevent young people from entering the building or being exposed to explicit adult imagery?

Given that I do not expect Sawtry itself to have sufficient demand for this establishment to be viable, its ­proprietors will need to attract drivers off the A1. How can this be safe on this already busy road? As the A1 is four-lane at this point, signage will need to be big and explicit to grab the attention of passing traffic.

How can we be assured that effective controls can be put in place to reduce the impact of this? This is a school-run route for parents and school buses that would provide a daily reminder of the purpose of this shop.

Some commentators have said that the former Little Chef is outside the village. Let me be clear: there are schools, the college and a playgroup close by.

There are nearby residents, too. How can it be fair to these residents to have such an establishment on their doorstep?

If this application is successful, Sawtry would be left with a sex shop at its gateway, dramatically altering its character and casting a shadow over its reputation as a great family village to live in.

I urge residents to write to Greg Peck at the licensing department at HDC to oppose this application, giving their reasons for doing so.

Councillor DARREN TYSOE

Sawtry Ward member

Huntingdonshire District Council