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Nov 4, 2022·edited Nov 4, 2022

With regard to the NNC/Kettering Area Planning Committee meeting, which should have taken place last Wednesday, even now the NNC website doesn't indicate that there was a problem with the meeting or show when the new date will be.

The "GLAM" project has been a disaster right from the start. There was, and remains, clear need to rectify the consequences of many years of inadequate, or even absent, maintenance of the original buildings, two of which are very fine pieces of architecture, probably the best in the town. However the main part of the current project appears to be to build some sort of, mainly glass, mini-atrium on the back of the library, of unimaginable purpose, which destroys the Eastern aspect of this otherwise excellent Edwardian edifice. That task was never properly consulted on with stakeholders, it was mis-budgeted, the procurement has been mismanaged, money that was going to be used to restore the museum (plus two further bail-outs from council tax payers' funds) has had to be poured into it, and the job, as it was originally proposed, will probably never be completed. Add to that expending further money to come up with the ludicrous "Cornerstone" name, which seems to have been imposed, in the most unattractively authoritarian manner, by the deputy leader of NNC, and we end up with something that no-one wants from any perspective, and no-one can afford to complete.

Beyond the above, I would also point out that re-skinning the library roof, and, quite possibly, replacing the timber underneath, is both essential (unless this fine building, already destabilised by the work at the rear, is going to fall in on itself pretty soon), and outside all of the current specification and costing of the project. If that job can be done, properly, for less than £2M, then I will go out and buy a hat, expressly for the purpose of eating it.

This latest planning application is for a big illuminated sign bearing the "Cornerstone" name and some sort of crass logo, and appears to be mainly for the purpose of the NNC "executive" figuratively sticking two fingers up at the population of Kettering and, particularly, the many respectable people who have objected to what is going on. Of course it is out of keeping with the area that it is proposed to be in! I very much hope the objectors win the day on this. If NNC has already bought the sign, then, in my opinion, the best thing to do with it is to place it in the deputy leader's office, permanently hard-wired on, as a perpetual warning of the consequences of arrogance.

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