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Fenland letters: 'My Halloween horror night"Heading for fifth vote?Council housing: Fenland is in Dickens era

Halloween anti-social behaviour, Brexit and council housing are some of the issues explored in this week's Letters page.

“One bad apple spoils the barrel” – that’s the best phrase I can use to describe my own experience during this Halloween.

My wife and I had a wonderful time handing out sweets to the various local children that came to our doorstep on the 31st.

Halloween proved difficult for a Fenland couple.
Halloween proved difficult for a Fenland couple.

However, the entire experience was soured by a single incident late into the festivities.

A boy, without costume, came to my door long after we had turned off our exterior lights (a universal sign for “no more trick or treaters, please”) and demanded we hand over some sweets.

When I apologised and explained we had run out he gave a frustrated grunt of disapproval and issued a rude hand gesture.

As easy as it would be for me to blame the child, I cannot, because clearly this was learned behaviour from the two loud-mouth, loutish oafs who were driving him around to exploit the generosity of people like myself.

Parents, take note! I am not obliged to furnish your poorly-behaved gremlin with treats.

If you cannot instil in your child the most basic concepts of politeness you shouldn’t be taking them out at all.

Otherwise, their actions will only serve to ruin things for everyone else.

L. Foulke,

via email.

Unless a hard Brexit wins a big majority via the General Election on December 12, the UK could be forced to vote on our EU membership for a FIFTH time next June.

The election in 2015 was won on a referendum pledge. 2016? ’nuff said.

Theresa May’s botched campaign in 2017. December 12, and then, in June next year, will there be a people’s/confirmatory vote that will never allow Brexit to happen at all?

Remembrance Sunday is all about thanking, respecting and honouring the sacrifices of those in conflict, so that we could be a free country, enjoying all the democratic rights that life in this country is supposed to offer.

Many EU Remainers will be attending ceremonies this Sunday ‘pretending’ to pay homage to the suffering and respect the sacrifices – but they’ll be back at work on Monday trying to find new ways to for Brexit to fail; thus leaving Britain ‘Never Free’.

Ashley Smith,


A crescent of semi-detached houses stands on the edge of a playing field in Conisbrough, South Yorkshire, offering views of the rolling hills beyond.

With pointed gables, big picture windows and generous back gardens dotted with trampolines, it looks like a development of aspirational “executive homes”, awaiting its gilded electric gates and four-wheel-drives.

They had to turn the crowds away – because these are council houses, some of the first built here for a generation.

It is just one example of what many local authorities are now managing to achieve up and down the country, against the odds, after decades of central government inaction.

The award for the best new building in the UK went to Goldsmith Street in Norwich, another exemplary development of council homes, marking the first time the hallowed RIBA Stirling prize has been given to social housing.

Local authorities are doing a lot more to build housing than we generally think, research shows into the different methods that councils are using to deliver homes in the absence of government grants.

The 40 homes in the Conisbrough development are some of the 400-plus that Doncaster council has been building over the last few years, since the Labour council came to power in 2013, following the previous administration’s catastrophic legacy of mismanagement.

From Bristol and Bournemouth to Wigan and Wolverhampton, their findings paint a picture of local authorities taking an interventionist approach and using a wide range of powers to deliver homes, despite government cuts.

Several bold councils are getting on and doing it for themselves. This marvellous aspect shows how Fenland District Council are living in the Dickens era with their zero thoughts on council housing.

Findings suggest around 13,000 homes were built by councils last year. It’s not the 300,000 we need, but it indicates the beginning of a slow and gentle revolution.

Although, “beware” – perhaps this is another financial opportunity to hand over to privatisation once again.

J. White,

via email.

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