A former town councillor in Louth has urged decision-makers to ‘move with the times’ in order to make the town more attractive to its young people.
John Gains, a former member of Louth Town Council, says Louth ‘hasn’t changed since about 1935’ and needs to do more to encourage the younger generation to stay in the town.
He has called for the town’s Cattle Market to be sold off for a supermarket, the pedestrianisation of the town centre, as well as more chain outlets like McDonald’s.
His views have been sparked by Louth’s listing in a shortlist among 100 ‘crap towns’ for a new book ‘Crap Towns Returns’, and said action needs to be taken sooner rather than later.
“Perhaps ‘crap town’ is a bit strong but you can see where the authors are coming from,” he said.
“Louth hasn’t changed since about 1935, I have lived here all my life and believe I know what I’m talking about.
“If Louth is the ‘Capital of the Wolds’ then its up to the councils to make it suitable for everybody, not just older people.”
Mr Gains insists his views represent the ‘silent majority’ in Louth, who he believes are not making their voices heard.
“I’m convinced I am speaking on behalf of most people, unfortunately you can’t make them speak up or vote though,” he said.
“There’s all this emphasis on local trade but supermarkets bring competition and drive prices down, Louth has always been an area of low wages.
“I often go to Lidl’s in Mablethorpe and see people from Louth there.
“So money is leaving Louth and being spent elsewhere.”
“What is local anyway? We have the market three times a week and the food is brought in from Spain, Portugal, Turkey, Morocco, and lorries from all over the country are supplying many of our shops.
“It goes right back to 1936 when Marks and Spencers tried to get into Louth and it was stopped by councillors.”
The former councillor has urged East Lindsey District Council to go ahead and sell Louth Cattle Market off to a supermarket, and wants to see the town centre pedestrianised.
“If things continue as they are then Louth will grind to a halt,” he said.
“The roads were not designed for cars, they are so narrow.”
He believes the jobs created by a large new supermarket on Louth Cattle Market would give the young people in the town a boost.
“There’s just nothing for them,” he said.
“Aldi are creating 40 new jobs by building on the Malt Kiln, at least giving some prospects to younger people.”
What do you make of Mr Gains’ views? Do you agree? Is he speaking on behalf of the so-called ‘silent majority’? Email your views to firstname.lastname@example.org.