Town Council Round-Up: Letters, Cattle Markets, And Special Measures
November 12th 2014The town council meeting of Tuesday, 11th November was more heated than usual. Discussion in the public forum revolved around a letter the Mayor, Andrew Leonard, had written to the Louth Leader in early November, and a response from Councillor Tony Howard, Mayor of Mablethorpe.
Councillor Laura Stephenson was very critical of the Louth Mayor's letter, saying: "It said some quite nasty things about the party I belong to, and I don't think any of them were very fair."
Councillor Stephenson also criticised the way the letter was published, saying: "It is against our code of conduct for you to do this, and it's not very nice."
"I'm not a glove puppet to any political party," the Mayor responded.
I'm not going to go into detail on this, because it has the hallmarks of a personality clash rather than an issue-based disagreement, and I don't want this post to descend into Jeremy Kyle territory.
Cattle marketCouncillors discussed plans for a cattle market on the Fairfield industrial estate, which the town council had rejected in the past but were now available in more detail. "This is the wrong location for the cattle market," Councillor Fran Treanor said. Other councillors agreed, with Councillor Margaret Ottaway calling it "all wrong to open a cattle market up there," and Councillor Neil Ward branding it a "terrible location."
"I'd like to know why the district council are even handling this, let alone the first application that came through, when they have a financial interest in the whole thing going through?" the Mayor asked. He argued that it would allow ELDC to have a site for a future cattle market. "They want the site to push the cattle market onto in the future. Without this they've nothing in the pipeline lined up within the next two years," he said.
Councillor Eileen Ballard said: "You've got to object to this." She described Louth's industrial estate as "vibrant" and warned that a cattle market would "annoy the neighbours" and encourage businesses to move away.
The council voted to object to this, and to write to the ombudsman to query ELDC's involvement in the decision.
Kenwick RoadOutline plans for 107 houses near Kenwick Road received short shrift, with the town council objecting to them a second time. "We've got ongoing problems there, ... especially the flooding but also about the traffic management," Councillor Eileen Ballard commented.
"We've actually got a fully fledged, accepted and adopted town plan, and this doesn't fit within that at all," the Mayor said.
"This is the thin end of the wedge," Councillor George Horton said. "It's not only from a planning issue that we should be objecting to this. It's the impact that something like this would have on the town."
"We need to pick our battles really carefully," Councillor Stephenson said. "If we turn down too many more it may all be taken out of our hands and of the district council's hands." That's a reference to the threat of "special measures" that ELDC is under as a result of losing a high proportion of appeals against planning decisions.
"We've already got flooding in that area of the town," Councillor Gus Robertson pointed out.
Going back to the topic of special measures, Councillor Ballard asked: "Why should we keep justifying ourselves to Parliament? Let them justify themselves to us. We're the ones who are living here. We're the ones who know the importance of the infrastructure of our town."
Other plansThe town council also rejected plans for a single bungalow in James Street, but supported another bungalow in Mount Pleasant.
Cemetery one-way systemThe council discussed buying signs for a one-way system for the cemetery at a cost of £2200. "We get a lot of conflict of traffic within the cemetery," the Town Clerk Linda Blankley said. The town council voted to buy these.
Brown's PanoramaFrom 27th June to 27th September 2015, Brown's Panorama will be on display in the Usher Gallery in Lincoln. The town council voted against allowing the painting to be displayed in St James' Church, but to allow it to go to the Usher. Councillor Jill Makinson-Sanders said: "The Lincoln exhibition is going to be national... It's a huge privilege for the town."
The town's Christmas tree will be put up on 25th November. Twelve solar Christmas trees will be installed around Louth. The town partnership will hold a Family Christmas Gala switching-on ceremony on the 27th November, when Peppa Pig will be switching on the lights. There will be children's rides in Mercer Row for this event, which will run from 2pm to 8pm. Then on 7th December the partnership will run the ever-popular Christmas Craft Market.
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