East Lindsey District Council has revealed that it expects to spend £45,000 this financial year to progress the sale of the Cattle Market to Asda.
At a meeting of the ELDC Executive Board on Tuesday, September 23, members agreed that the funds should come from the Legal and Appeals reserves rather than the Council’s revenue budget.
Speaking on Monday afternoon (September 29), a spokesperson for East Lindsey District Council said: “The £45,000 referred to in the Executive Board report is an estimate of the costs expected to be incurred in this financial year to progress the sale of the site to the point of exchange of contracts with Asda.
“At the meeting, Executive Board agreed to fund the anticipated costs from reserves rather than the council’s revenue budget. “Of the £45,000 total, £16,500 has been spent already (£12,500 on the phase of work by Chase and Partners to market the site, and £4,000 on legal fees).
“The remaining £28,500 is an estimate of the potential additional costs, such as legal fees, to get to the point of exchange of contracts.
“This, however, does not include the potential for substantially higher legal fees that would be incurred with any Judicial Review.
“The sale value by far exceeds the level of money the council expects to spend to process the sale and replace the existing facility.”
Following the development, the Mayor of Louth, Councillor Andrew Leonard, said that the potential £12,500 contribution from the Town Council towards the cost of a judicial review “pales into insignificance” compared to ELDC’s figures.
The Mayor added: “If you add in the £50,000 plus spent on reports to date, that equates to over £100,000 spent. Given that all the opponents of the Town Council actions have political affiliation with the District Council decision-makers, can we assume small town politics has come into play, rather than what is right for Louth?”
Meanwhile, campaign group Keep Louth Special has released a statement of support for the Louth Town Council, with which they are joining forces to cover the cost of a judicial review.
As reported last week, the group has already received a number of donations including £10,000 from one anonymous donor.
Chairman Alan Mumby said: “This courageous and principled act shows that our councillors really do care about the future of the town, and they should be applauded.
“Anyone who has had their eyes and ears open since the ELDC vote on July 23 knows that there is a lot of anger and frustration in the town about the District Council’s decision. Why else would people be coming forward with donations towards the cost of the Judicial Review?
“The Town Councillors represent the people of Louth, and they voted by a sizeable majority in favour of a Judicial Review because they refuse, on our behalf, to simply roll over and let a huge American corporation not only ruin our town but also take their profits out of the country in the process.
“Well done Louth Council for standing up to be counted. If this cause isn’t worth fighting for, what is?”