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Town Council Round-Up: Roadworks, A Youth Council, And Secrets

April 30th 2014

Flowers

Photo by Rowan Hall

The new bridge

The new footbridge at Hubbard's Hills

The town council of Tuesday, 29th April was abuzz with secrets. More on that later. Or sooner, if you skip to the bottom of the page, but believe me, it's not all that.

In the public forum, the Councillor Margaret Ottaway raised the issue of the state of the town's market, and the number of stalls on it. She was asked by a stallholder when the town council were going to take it over. "We need an up to date report," she said. "It's not right that we shouldn't have a good market."

Councillor Sue Locking mentioned an anecdote about a stallholder who could get three stalls at a local market for the price of one in Louth. "He comes because he loves Louth," she said.

Councillor Neil Ward asked: "Why is Mablethorpe thriving and Louth not?"

In Mablethorpe, the town council have taken over the running of their market.

Louth In Bloom

Councillor Locking made a plea for volunteers to help with Louth In Bloom by painting bollards on Sunday, 11th May from 9am onwards.

Councillor Andrew Leonard publicly thanked GBM for paying for and installing the new bridge at Hubbard's Hills. "We are very grateful to GBM. They did everything for free. It was a very generous gift."

Roadworks

LCC will be making road improvements on the B1202 and A158 Wragby traffic lights. These works began on the 28th of April and will run for several weeks, including overnight closures in July. The town clerk, Linda Blankley, said drivers would need to make a "hefty diversion".

Councillor Pauline Watson expressed concern about people needing ambulances during that time, saying: "I think the police should be ready to escort people through".

"This road is going to be closed coming up to the busiest holiday period," Councillor Brian Burnett said. ""Why couldn't they have closed it in late autumn. There's no logic to it at all."

The town clerk also mentioned another closure, affecting the footpath at Riverhead. It will be closed for at least ten weeks.

Every time I walk down there I notice how wobbly the path is, but it's still a shame to close it over summer. Wobbly or not, it's still one of the most pleasant walking routes in town.

Retail economic assessment

The town council have met to discuss their reactions to the updated Nathaniel Lichfield report on retail in the town. They have yet to finalise their notes into a full statement, but that's likely to appear soon.

Councillor Laura Stephenson questioned "the legality of the district council planning committee making a decision about a piece of land they are selling."

Councillor Watson expressed concern that the discussion over the cattle market's future. "I am a bit concerned that it's been hijacked by supermarkets and we have lost the plot," she said.

Councillor Leonard mentioned the traffic impact in Louth. "It's bottlenecks whatever way you come in," he said.

This is in reference to a traffic assessment that the town council voted in favour of on 15th April.

"If we do a traffic impact assessment who is going to pay for it?" Councillor Watson asked. "That's going to cost a fortune."

Youth council

Councillor George Horton raised the question of a youth council, and made the proposal of forming a working group to look into the possibility of having such a council.

There were various suggestions about the practicality of this, and how it might be done. "I think this is very important," Councillor Stephenson said. "I may have mentioned it a few times myself. We all listen to the young people we know individually, but collectively we do not."

"We did bring this to the town council two years ago and I thought it was a fantastic idea," said Councillor David Hall.

Councillor Chris Green was more cautious, warning that the council must be careful that it is not merely "seen to be a talking shop."

Councillor Ottaway remarked that most young people from 16 were "very, very busy doing their exams."

Councillor Roger Featherstone was enthusiastic. "Civics isn't emphasised enough," he said. On the topic of exams, he said "It is easy not to arrange meetings in May and June."

Councillor Stephenson referred to the experience she had had with the Junior UN as a young person, saying: "That kind of thing can change your life. And it does make universities want you more."

The council voted in favour of creating a working group to look into having a youth council.

Secrets

The council moved to closed session to discuss some matter with legal implications, so unfortunately I can't tell you any more than that. Perhaps details will come to light in the future.

Whatever this is about, if lawyers are involved then what concerns me is, how much will it cost the people of Louth?



 


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