LETTER: Caistor Alley Railings causing issue

I refer to your article in the Rasen Mail with regards to the railings erected between Butter Market and Plough Hill.

I am a resident for 20 years of the Butter Market in Caistor adjacent to the railings which were erected to close off the alleyway leading to Plough Hill.

I am also a long term reader of your paper and was appalled and disturbed at the inaccuracies contained in the article regarding the railings.

1) The article states that at the time the railings were installed that the alleyway was not a public right of way. The alleyway has been used for at least 150 years by the residents of the town on a daily basis.

2) The justification for the erection of the railings blocking off this key artery of access was the alleged catch all of “anti social” behaviour. This is a nonsense and a red herring camouflaging the real ulterior motives for blocking off this passageway.

3) The article also displayed symptoms of patronising emotional blackmail with regards to the “elderly residents” of Caistor speaking at a public enquiry. Have you met our “elderly residents”? They are as active and vocal in their objections as any other residents and possess a deep well of knowledge and wisdom.

This whole area is at the centre of a busy working market town.

Over the past 20-years I have had multiple hanging baskets and flower pots around my property. During this time not a petal has been touched.

Quite the opposite as the flower display has proved a lovely conversation starter with visitors and residents alike.

The blocking of the alleyway has caused major inconvenience and a safety hazard for the residents of the town both old and young alike.

On busy days when the town is crowded with buses taking pupils to and from the schools people are forced to use the bottleneck leading into the market square in order to access the Plough Hill area of the town.

As your picture clearly demonstrated the passageway since being blocked off has now become derelict and is a major eyesore in the middle of the town due to lack of maintenance.

The most blatant antisocial event in this whole sorry saga was the original construction of the gates by a couple of individuals with their own agenda and with zero consultation by the community.

If LCC decide to go ahead with a public enquiry for three objectors it is their prerogative. It is grossly unfair to blame CTC and its residents in any way for this debacle.

All CTC have asked for is that the area be restored to its prior state which represents the view of the Caistor community.

Shall the residents of Bank Lane gate themselves off? Shall Bob’s Lane construct a wall with a gate to allow access. This sets a dangerous precedent of ghettoisation. It is Caistor we live in, not the Bronx.

Michael Galligan

Caistor

EDITOR’S NOTE: Thanks for your letter Michael and giving your opinion. While there are two sides to every story the article was not inaccurate. LCC confirmed that while the alleyway was used before the railings erection, it was never a right of way. It was Caistor Police who reported to us that anti-social behaviour was an issue and the mention of ‘elderly residents’ was a quote from Mr Holt. Reporters will never share an opinion of their own.