What Trinity And North Holme Want
May 11th 2015
A pothole on the Crescent, High Holme Road
Play parks like this one on Keddington Road were high on some people's lists
Election resultsSo the elections happened.
I'm pleased to have been elected as the district councillor for Trinity ward, and that my Labour party colleagues Sarah Dodds, Graham Cullen and Tony Howard retained their seats. Thank you to everyone in Trinity ward who voted for me, to everyone in North Holme who voted for my partner David Hall, to everyone who put posters up, and to everyone who helped on our campaigns.
However, the count on 8th May was a day of very mixed feelings for me, as many others failed to secure their seats, or to win enough votes to gain new ones.
In many cases the margin was very tight. Conservative Chris Green became the councillor for St Margaret's ward by a margin of 78 votes over Labour's Laura Stephenson, whilst Conservative Fran Treanor beat David Hall by 58 votes to take North Holme ward. And in Chapel St Leonards the vote had to go to a recount because there were only 8 votes between the winning Tory and the runner-up, Labour's Fiona Brown. So it's really important for people to vote, because in local elections every vote can make a difference.
CanvassingIn the months leading up to the election I wore through a couple of pairs of boots/trainers as I canvassed and delivered leaflets with David Hall. We knocked on thousands of doors and had hundreds of conversations with the people of Louth's Trinity and North Holme wards. During that time, we discovered which problems were at the forefront of many people's minds.
PotholesThe most common issue by a long margin was potholes. In both North Holme and Trinity residents complained about the damage these were doing to their cars, and the dangers to cyclists.
There is also widespread dissatisfaction with the temporary patches the Highways department is making, because they don't last long enough. There are also a few roads, such as Abbey Road and St Bernards Avenue, which could do with resurfacing.
What's frustrating about potholes is that they're a county council responsibility, and not a district one. So I'll be reporting them where I find them, and raising the issue with LCC, but until the county council decides to invest more, we'll be stuck with disintegrating roads.
Speeding trafficMany residents had complaints about speeding traffic, but it's localised to certain roads. On St Bernards Avenue, Brackenborough Road, Broadley Crescent, Park Avenue, Grimsby Road, North Holme Road, and the bend of Monks Dyke Road leading up to the St Bernards junction, residents often mentioned speed and the need for traffic calming.
Children and young peopleWe heard this everywhere: Louth needs to provide more for young people to do. For the parents of younger children this is more about having decent and well-maintained play areas within walking distance of where people live. For older children, it's about getting the skate park off the ground, and increasing investment in youth services.
ParkingParking is another issue that is both general, and specific to certain streets. In some streets there's a need for parking bays because the street is clogged with parked cars, causing access problems for larger vehicles, and also causing traffic flow problems. School pick-up times can also cause difficulties with regard to parking.
DevelopmentsSome new proposed developments proved particularly unpopular. The 240 homes planned off the Grimsby Road were unwelcome, particularly with the residents of Grimsby Road and Fanthorpe Lane. No surprises there.
Similarly, plans for homes on the field behind Park Avenue were very unpopular, as were plans for homes off the eastern end of Eastfield Road.
Waterloo HomesWe heard quite a few complaints about Waterloo Homes from their residents, focusing on problems with getting them to maintain their properties and gardens. Their move to Birmingham has caused a lot of people frustration, because now a lot of people find it very difficult to get hold of them.
BinsSome people told us about various problems with bin collections, such as bins not getting picked up.
The cattle market and ASDAI wouldn't say the sale of the cattle market was a big issue for many people, but it did come up now and then. Some people in Trinity told me they were in favour of the sale and wanted an ASDA, and others were against it and thought a big supermarket would ruin the town. I didn't get enough feedback on this issue to establish a consensus one way or another in the Trinity area. The same was true in North Holme, with opinions fairly evenly split both ways.
The research goes onCanvassing provides an excellent opportunity to get a snapshot of what people are really thinking about their local area. It's more representative of local views than any internet survey or street poll, but it's also very labour-intensive. Nevertheless, it's so important for an elected councillor to stay in touch with residents, because there's no other way to accurately represent them. So the election may be over, but the discussions will go on.
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