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KLS Release A Statement About Move Louth Forward

March 30th 2014

Louth Livestock Market

Louth Livestock Market

As I reported earlier, there will be a meeting organised by Move Louth Forward on Tuesday, 1st April. The purpose is to discuss whether the cattle market should be sold to a supermarket, as well as other issues affecting the town. It will be at 7pm at the Dance Garage, Unit 3 (behind Halfords) Tattershall Way, Fairfield Industrial Estate.

Move Louth Forward describe themselves as "a group of Louth residents who would welcome a new larger supermarket in the town". As such, their aims are opposed to those of Keep Louth Special, who believe that a large supermarket would destroy Louth's unique retail character. KLS released the following statement:

"Keep Louth Special welcomes the renewed interest in the future of the town shown by the Move Louth Forward group, which had its inaugural meeting on April 1st. While we cordially disagree with their contention that Louth needs additional supermarket capacity beyond the Aldi which is coming to the Malt Kiln, we do want to encourage them to get involved. Yes, anyone who has the stamina and commitment to attend evening meetings at ELDC and Louth Town Council, lobby councillors, and give the hundreds of hours required to make a difference (in any direction) needs endurance to give it their best shot. What we would say is that if the aim is to move Louth forward, it needs to play to the town’s strengths. To get the best out of Wayne Rooney, you give him a football, not a cricket bat. Likewise to guarantee the prosperous future of Louth, the visitors who come in their droves, the thousand or more employed in local shops, the reputation as Britain’s favourite market town, then you have to play to Louth’s strengths: the depth of offering in the independent shops and the town market, the provenance of the food, the Georgian character and heritage of the town, and the many market events which are possible only through the unpaid work of dozens of volunteers at Louth Town Partnership. Louth has already made a mark nationally through sticking to what it does best. To go in the opposite direction makes no sense. There is, after all, no national award for ‘Best Grimsby wannabe’ and no tourism or jobs in it either.

We already have well over 3,000 signatures garnered in the town for a petition to ask ELDC not to sell the Cattle Market site for a supermarket. Such petitions under Localism legislation should lead to the council conducting a local referendum. Move Louth Forward says it wants to give a its supporters a voice. So I would hope that they can agree with us that ELDC should consult the people who elected them before they make any decision which is so crucial to the town. If so, we would work alongside them to make sure all our voices are heard through such a referendum.

Faithfully,

Nick Louth

Keep Louth Special"

Referendums

The right to hold a referendum under the Localism Act is summarised in this PDF. Under current legislation, it looks as though we will be able to hold a maximum of one referendum every 10 years on an issue such as planning (although I expect the law will be refined before those 10 years are up).

This is a debate with several sides, and it's not a simple yes/no question. When I asked people in the town centre in February, 72% of those polled did not want another large supermarket. However, in 2011 one of the principle things people told David Hall when he was canvassing for the High Holme seat was that they wanted a cheap supermarket. So it matters a great deal who you ask, and when, and where, and what the specifics of your questions are.

That was in 2011, and it will be interesting to see how the development of a smaller Aldi store on Newbridge Hill alters the equation. Price, choice, and proximity are some of the main drivers for people's desire for a supermarket, and the Aldi store will arguably fulfil two of those three. How many people will consider the Aldi to be enough?



 


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