Mr H. K. White
The Churchmanor Estates Company plc
8th June 2010
Dear Mr White,
I was elected as Lib. Dem. District Councillor for Huntingdon East at the recent elections, having never before stood in an election of any kind. I have lived in the town since 1987, and seen many changes. Many of them, I am very pleased to say, for the better.
As a resident, I formerly used to use the passage which became closed off some years ago, by the so-called St. Germain Gate. This gate is notated as “controversial” not by me, but on www.huntingdontc.com – a website which can be found via a link from Churchmanor’s own website. Some years on, I was quite surprised, when asking residents of Huntingdon East ( I reckon on having canvassed over 1,800 this year ) what issues bothered them. Along with numerous topics, “that *****y gate” cropped up on many occasions.
It set me thinking, is there any reason, other than a pure commercial one of “forcing” footfall past some of the retail outlets redeveloped by Churchmanor, that the gate cannot be reopened, or better yet, removed? After all, most people who shop in town now are well aware of the shops such as Subway, Vision Express and Starbucks. Now, we hear the news that the Post Office is considering relocating from its present site, to “within WH Smiths”. Given that the opening hours may well be extended, that is good news. However, for those older folk who live in the area I represent, moving the Post Office to this proposed location will mean a walk of at least 800 yards or more, in addition to the distance they currently need to undertake. Unless of course, the gate is removed and they can enter the WH Smiths more readily.
I noted that one of your responses to past criticism of the gate was to cite that the area close to the passage constituted a “dangerous accident hotspot”. This might have led people to think that there had been a spate of accidents there. Was that ever the case? And is that area any more dangerous than the ring road, bus station, or any of the town centre car-parks? Surely the answer is to take measures to diminish the risk of accidents. Coupled with the publicity surrounding the re-opening of the gate, this could greatly enhance Churchmanor’s reputation in the town.
To quote from your website again “It is easy to rake over old coals on the rights and wrongs of any issue. However, to invest in a town centre that badly needs investment, decisions need to be taken which may not always be popular with some, but with future investment and planning they will lead to an improved town centre for all.” Forgive me if I am wrong, but I have found no mention anywhere on your website of Churchmanor’s position with regards the RESIDENTS of Huntingdon.
There are numerous web references to businesses, landowners, local authorities, institutions, but nowhere, the people without whom those organisations will thrive….council tax payers, customers…in short, the people of Huntingdon.
Churchmanor claims to "……care enough about Huntingdon to want to support local retail and to bring life back to this part of the town for future generations". But does Churchmanor care enough about the people who, if the Post Office is moved, will be inconvenienced?
The Post Office’s own consultation document talks of their possible relocation being 375 yards away. The buildings may be, but right now, the access, door to door, is NOT.
So, I write to you to ask for consideration, especially now the businesses that moved into the newly redeveloped area of
I have been writing a blog which is available for open reading, and isn’t subject to the whim of an editor of any area of the media, editing or ignoring it. That said, the Hunts Post did publish a letter from me on this subject. I intend to wait a week or so before uploading this letter to my blog, and of course, I shall give Churchmanor access too, by uploading any reply you may send to me.
I hope you will give this consideration, and I look forward to hearing from you in due course.
Cllr Ste Greenall