‘Boston has gone down the tubes. Not enough people care about the town’

The general election is just days away and one of Lincolnshire’s most intriguing constituencies is Boston and Skegness. The formerly safe Conservative seat isn’t quite as safe as it once was, with former Reform leader Richard Tice standing, and Labour predicted to do much better than in 2019.

As part of our 5000 Voices project, we’re visiting constituencies across the East Midlands to ask people about what they’re most concerned about. So far in Lincolnshire, we’ve visited Lincoln, Sleaford and now Boston.

We spent the day in Boston town centre speaking to people about the local issues which matter to them and many had a pretty bleak view of their home town. Ronald Hill, 59, from Boston, said: “There’s a lot of shops that are empty and Boston market has gone down the drain because there were lots of stalls, but then they have disappeared over time and this is having an impact on local businesses here.”

Steven Springer, 66, from Boston, said: “They’ve just done a new bus timetable and the local buses are from seven in the morning to seven at night. Yet where I live, all we’ve got is a service from nine o’clock in the morning until quarter to three in the afternoon and on a weekend, we’ve got no public transport whatsoever.”

He added: “I don’t think it’s right. Why should we go without when they’ve just extended the other bus timetables in the area?”

A Boston taxi driver, who did not want to be named, said: “Connections to public transport are very bad here. People cannot get anywhere because the buses and trains are so bad.”

Jeremy Oliver, 54, from Boston, said: “The main issue in Boston is that the foreigners have taken over and got all the shops and all the English ones are shutting down.”

Mike Crigg, 82, who was born and bred in Boston, said: “I’m concerned the way the town’s gone down the tubes to a degree in terms of empty shops and buildings. Not enough people care about the town to look after it. There are some really good people trying to do things but there are too many people that spoil it.”

Pensioner Jim Goodinson, who lives in Nottinghamshire and was visiting the town, said: “We’ve come to have a look around the shopping centre but we’re not very impressed. It’s not got the hustle and bustle that a lot of town centres have which we visit.

“We visited Lincoln last week and that was absolutely brilliant but we’re not really impressed with Boston. It just seems a bit run down and there’s a lack of investment.

We also asked them if they had any other issues in the area or any problems they were concerned about. Mr Hill added: “The council have replaced the housing register with an online version but many people don’t have access to the internet, particularly in rural places in Lincolnshire.”

Mr Crigg said: “To start with, I would like politicians to be honest and trustworthy. I have no qualms with the present MP, it’s just there are too many MPs that aren’t sound.”

The General Election takes place on Thursday, July 4 and voting is between 7am and 10pm. The candidates standing for the Boston and Skegness constituency are listed below:

  • David Dickason for the English Democrats

  • Alexandra Fawbert for the Labour Party

  • Mike Gilbert for Blue Revolution

  • Richard Lloyd for the Liberal Democrats

  • Chris Moore for the Green Party

  • Richard Tice for Reform UK

  • Matt Warman for the Conservative Party

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