Strong feelings over Louth cattle site
By Grimsby Telegraph | Posted: 17 Aug 2017
MORE than 300 people turned out to have their voices heard on the future of Louth Cattle Market.
The public meeting at Louth Town Hall considered three options for the site put forward by East Lindsey District Council.
People were left standing at the meeting as residents packed in to express their views.
It was part of a nine-week public consultation held by the council.
The three options the council is considering are moving, scrapping or revamping the site.
Russell Jeanes from Masons Chartered Surveyors said: “It was a tremendous turnout and I think it just shows how the feeling is so strong to retain the market. It’s such an integral part of the local agricultural community.
“It’s key to keeping Louth a traditional market town, which is a wonderful asset and it would be a shame to lose that by a supermarket coming in and basically decimating the town. I think our job as the auctioneers and users of the market and anyone who values Louth as a traditional market town is to make our voices heard by filling in the survey on ELDC’s website. It’s key that the market stays.”
Farmer Jim Sutcliffe, pictured, who owns Meridian Meats in Louth, said he was pleased with how the public meeting went.
“I just hope it makes an impact on the people who make the decision,” he said.
“I thought it was a fantastic turnout. People really presented the case well. I thought Nick Louth’s little bit was excellent.
“The feeling I got was that everyone was in agreement that option three is the preferred choice – to keep the market where it is and refurbish it. It’s whether it sinks in with East Lindsey.
“I hope the council listens to the views of people. As it was said at the meeting, East Lindsey has a poor track record of listening to people’s opinion.
“This is a good opportunity to put that right and I hope they would do that.
“It was a poor show that there were not many East Lindsey councillors there. I think it should be mandatory that all were there.
“It was a really good turnout. People really do care.”
Mr Sutcliffe explained why he wanted to save Louth Cattle Market.
“I think, firstly from the Charter point of view, it’s a really important piece of history to casually throw away.
“The market contributes so much to the town. One, for being a market, and two, the economic contribution it makes. And it’s an important keystone in the way of life around here. Farming used to be a high labour force but now it’s one or two people and some family-run farms that can’t afford to staff it. A visit to the market is enough to keep them sane. It’s a rural support network.”
Nick Louth, from the Keep Louth Special group, said: “The meeting was packed. There were 350 people. There was standing room only.
“I’ve been campaigning for eight years to save the market. In every case, East Lindsey always made the decision beforehand.
“We’ve had two petitions. One in 2008, which received support over half the population of Louth [only signed by adults], and a petition in 2014. Both were completely ignored. We submitted plans but East Lindsey has never even offered it as an option for consideration to councillors. They have ignored every piece of consultation by the community.
“They are in favour of things that would be so damaging to the town and yet another installation of a supermarket. All of this is very short-sighted and damaging to the town.
“The public meeting may have been a game changer. I now think Craig Leyland (leader of ELDC) will think again carefully about this.”
East Lindsey District councillor Adam Grist for the Legbourne ward said: “It was a very well attended meeting and I didn’t expect anything else.
“There was a very intense feeling in the room to retain a livestock market in Louth. That came through loud and clear.”
The report on the consultation comes back to the council on September 27.
A full council will then come together on October 11 to decide the way forward.