Councillor slammed over ‘ill-informed’ email on Louth Cattle Market

Councillor Neil Jones.
Councillor Neil Jones.

An ‘ill-informed’ email sent by an ELDC councillor - which denounces Louth Cattle Market as a mere ‘farmer’s drinking club’ - has been blasted by residents and cattle market users.

The email was sent by ELDC’s vice-chairman, Coun Neil Jones, who represents the Sibsey & Stickney ward in the south of the district.

Louth Cattle Market.

Louth Cattle Market.

He sent the email to Rebecca O’Brien, from Masons Chartered Surveyors, before the public meeting yesterday (Wednesday), in response to an email requesting his support to help save the current livestock market site.

Councillor Jones’ email, which was littered with grammatical errors, stated: “The market should not be saved. It employed one man, half a day a week.

“The rent to ELDC is £3,000 a year. To replace will cost £5m which could be better spent £750k to refurbish it.

“Lincolnshire farmers use it other than a drinking club.

“There is a clue it is the only one left and has no viable purpose.

“Use the money on the rest of the area, not just Louth.

“Half your rates go to land drainage, the other half is used for the rest of local services. Save East Lindsey, not the market.”

A screen-shot of the email has circulated on social media in the last week, and has been criticised as ill-informed, rude, and ‘clueless’ by members of the public.

The matter was raised by George Horton, a town and district councillor, at the public meeting on the cattle market which took place yesterday evening (Wednesday).

After summarising the email, he said: “This shows the ignorance of some of my colleagues, I’m afraid.”

In response, ELDC leader Craig Leyland confirmed that he had seen the email. He said: “It’s not helpful.

“But it does make the point that we (the Executive Board) have to convince all councillors of the validity of our decision.”
Today (Thursday), Coun Leyland issued a further statement following a request from the Louth Leader.

Coun Leyland said: “It has to be recognised that District Councillors all have their own opinion on issues.

“In October, the District Council has an important decision to make in regard to the future of the Livestock Market in Louth and to support that process and ensure all councillors are well informed, Council will be presented with a detailed and fully informed report which will include the outcome of the ongoing public consultation.

“I have no doubt that all councillors will consider this information carefully in coming to their decision at that time.”

• Visit the Louth Leader website homepage and Facebook page for audio and video footage from the public meeting.