The more observant among us will have noticed that there’s an election coming up.
On May 3rd most of us will file down to the polling stations to choose who we want to represent us on the Borough Council for the next term of office. Many of us will already have seen a flurry of information sheets coming through our letter boxes telling us all about each of our local candidates and why we should vote for them.
Now, we do understand the need for politicians and would-be councillors to use propaganda and even shock tactics to highlight issues and try to gain votes. Yes, people are often apathetic and candidates might feel they need to scare us into action and make us believe that only they can ‘save us’.
BUT in our opinion the Labour Party candidate for Ripley has taken this too far.
In his recent leaflet, delivered to thousands of homes across Ripley, Tony Holmes talks about the controversial proposed developments on Nottingham Road in the town. He states, and we quote:
”The Scheme will kill our town centre! We would be like Heanor.”
Three words spring to mind – How Dare He!
We would like to ask Mr Holmes when he last visited Heanor and when he last took the time to shop there, or when he last looked at Facebook and saw all of the amazing community spirit that is raising Heanor up and driving it forward.
Far from being dead, Heanor is undergoing a quiet revolution, with no less than 8 new businesses opening over the last few months, an active Traders Association, a new Town Team and the incredibly successful Love Heanor Campaign. Ray Street has no empty shops whatsoever, there is a new barbers shop opening soon in Godfrey Street, Supertan has moved up the hill and Birds the Bakers are relocating to be in the heart of the town, investing significant money in renovating and re-fitting the old Lifestyle Boardzone shop.
Hardly dead, is it?
Mr Holmes is standing for the Borough Council, which means that, if voted in, he will be expected to represent the interests of everyone in the Borough, regardless of where they live. How can we trust him to do that effectively when he is prepared to make statements like this about one of the key towns in our area?
We applaud Mr Holmes' commitment to Ripley. Of course we must (and will) do everything we can to protect the town centre and the livelihoods of everyone who works in and around the town. But, if he really wants to help protect Ripley’s town centre, maybe Mr Holmes should actually use Heanor as an example in a positive way.
Maybe he should spend some time in Heanor, learning about all of the activities taking place, many with the support of the Borough Council.
Maybe he should talk to the Traders Association about their plans for reviving the market, and the way they are working to make Heanor a must-visit location for shoppers and visitors alike.
Maybe he should ask them about their plans for the Jubilee Celebrations and for investment in the infrastructure and aesthetics of the town.
Maybe he should find out about the pride and the driving determination of the residents and the business community themselves, and take the time to feel the fighting spirit that is keeping Heanor very much alive and well.
We are passionate about both Heanor AND Ripley and will fervently support anyone who is working for the good of both of our towns, and we would expect our Borough Councillors to do the same.
Do you feel the same? Let us know what you think by posting your comments below...
Member since: 10th July 2012
Hi, I'm Sarah. I've lived in Heanor with my family for over 10 years and I'm passionate about our beautiful little corner of this historical county. If you know of something that's great about our area,...