Unfair sex for Sawtry

IS it fair that that the 550-plus residents who wrote to Huntingdonshire District Council to object to the proposed sex shop at Sawtry are only allowed – by law – to defend the character of their village by speaking at the licensing committee hearing only if the applicant allows them to do so? (Fortunately, Cocktails Ltd has agreed they may do so.)

Is it fair that this same licensing committee has allocated only two hours for their objections to be heard – or about 13 seconds each if they all wanted to have their say?

Is it fair that since the September 8 deadline the licensing committee has had 11 weeks, or 77 days, to consider all objections and to fix the hearing date but, in just seven days, objectors must now decide, and advise the HDC, which of those 550 should be selected to speak on their behalf?

Is it fair that, although the sex shop is proposed at Sawtry, the hearing will be held 15 miles away – at St Ives and at 9.30am – and could last all day?

In addition to the 550-plus who wrote directly there was a 1,000-signature petition presented. After dropping the kids at school how many of these young mums can get there for 9.30 – and how many young Dads can afford a day off work before Christmas?


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So mainly it will be pensioners who attend – and they could be pilloried as old and out of touch. Is that fair?

Is it fair, finally, that objectors may speak only on points raised before the September 8 deadline – and may not complain on grounds of morality or indecency?

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So all the important facts that have emerged since then are to be ignored. And surely the world has gone mad if morality and indecency are excluded from a decision about licensing a sex shop - but that is the law. Is that fair?

So cross your fingers and hope the character of your locality is not threatened in a similar way – and, if you agree it is not fair, why not come to Burgess Hall, St Ives, at 9am on Thursday December 16 and help the good people of Sawtry protest against this application.

ALLAN BAMFORD

The Maltings

Sawtry

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