EDITOR – East Lindsey District Council’s communication officer, James Gilbert, was recently quoted in your paper with regard to the cattle market, saying that: “We have always been in a position to sell it, as it belongs to the district council” (Leader November 2).
This was perhaps a throw-away comment, but Mr Gilbert ought to know this is a highly-contentious issue within the town, and in that respect his comment might be seen as, at best, inappropriate, and, at worst, insensitive.
Let’s not forget that in 2009 5,300 people signed a petition, organised by Keep Louth Special, urging ELDC not to sell the cattle market site – the over-riding concern being that of the likelihood of a major retailer buying the site, and the consequences for the long-term viability of the town centre should this happen.
Putting aside the legal questions surrounding the sale of a site, which was given to the town in 1551 by King Edward, by Royal Charter, ‘forever’, Mr Gilbert should be aware that Keep Louth Special has already been working with ELDC to find a sustainable and viable future for the cattle market in keeping with its community heritage.
At a time when the Government is pushing its localism agenda, and encouraging people to participate more in the machinery of local government, Mr Gilbert’s comments may well lead people to think that politicians merely pay lip service to the principles of local democracy, and don’t actually listen to what people say.
We would like to think that is not the case in East Lindsey: otherwise, the 5,300 people who signed our petition might just have been wasting their time.
Chairman, Keep Louth Special