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Answering The Most Common Question About Louth

October 1st 2015

Jeremy Corbyn

Jeremy Corbyn at a fringe event at the Labour Party Conference

St James

St James

This week I attended the Labour Party Conference in Brighton. It was an exhilarating event which I had the pleasure of attending in the capacity of party delegate for the Louth and Horncastle area. Conference is a great opportunity to meet like-minded people from all around the country and discuss what's happening in different places.

I'm fairly gregarious these days (there's nothing like politics for bringing you out of your shell) so I ended up talking to a lot of people. Unfortunately most of them started off by asking me the same question. And it's a question any Ludensian can guess:

Where is Louth?

I was asked this question not only once or twice, but time and again by almost everyone I spoke to from outside Lincolnshire. It's clear Louth just isn't on most of the country's radar. It's no wonder attracting investment to this area is a challenge, when much of the country simply doesn't know of our existence.

So, where is Louth? It's on the edge of the Wolds, which is an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It's the location of a 500-year-old parish church with a spire 295 feet tall. It's the venue for annual events such as the Victorian Fayre, the Lions Bike Night, the Wolds Words event, and the Run For Life. These are just a few of the town's attractions.

It's clear Louth has a lot to offer, but the rest of the UK isn't getting the message.

Part of the problem is Louth's poor transport links. These were illustrated to me on Sunday when I tried to travel to Brighton. There are few trains to choose from on a Sunday, only about every couple of hours going from Lincoln to London and not before 11am. But these are trains from Lincoln, not Louth, where we haven't had rail since 1980 and passenger services since 1970.

Two of my connecting trains were delayed over an hour. So it was especially gratifying to be able to vote at conference in favour of Labour opposing further privatisation of Network Rail and looking at ways to renationalise the railways, something that delegates agreed on unanimously.

It's of more concern that there are no buses whatsoever between Louth and Lincoln on a Sunday. Under-investment in buses was another topic to come up at conference, because Tory cuts have impacted these services as well. Locally that means various bus services are under threat, and these services have never been very frequent to begin with. The austerity that's led to these cuts is ecologically and economically damaging because more cars are on the road and many people find it harder to get to work.

Louth needs better transport links, and further investment in promoting the town to the rest of the country. Otherwise it will remain off the map.



 


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