Statement on the library/art gallery/museum development

By John Padwick on February 14, 2021

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Kettering Labour Party supports the exciting new development/extension to the art gallery/museum/library. This will enable each to achieve their potential, and to extend their community activities. This will hugely benefit our town.

However, we are concerned that both in relation to the Blitz café and the trees in the Manor House garden, it appears that there have been errors in the consultation process, resulting in huge outcry on social media after the planning application was passed.

We are relieved that on both issues it appears that the Council has thought again, which we welcome, and trust that concerns will be alleviated. The trees are important in relation to climate change, recognised in KBC’s Climate Emergency resolution. This resolution was supported by Labour in July 2019, and continues to have our support. We urge the Council to ensure that any tree loss is kept to a minimum, and that the possibility of incorporating the trees within the design in some can be explored.

We understand that it is a difficult time for Kettering Borough Council officers, who are not only having to cope with problems caused by Covid, but who are also preparing for transition to the new unitary North Northamptonshire Council. There was in addition an extremely tight deadline for Government funding for this project. However, that should not mean that the correct steps in the planning process on such an important project should not be observed.

Geoff Marshall, Chair of Kettering Constituency Labour Party said, “It is obvious that local people want to be consulted properly on this significant project and hopefully this can now happen. This should be a great flagship for Kettering, and it would be a great shame if such a significant project was spoiled, due to a lack of proper consultation.”

John is the Campaign Co-ordinator for Kettering Labour. He's lived in Geddington for 30 years and is a longstanding parish councillor. He is a teacher, running his own tuition & consultancy business and is an active campaigner on LGBT issues. He is also a keen actor in the village and more widely and champions rural touring arts, regularly promoting live performances in Geddington Village Hall.

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