Keep whole of Louth special... for everyone

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EDITOR – I read with great interest all the correspondence on Louth in the Leader. My letter is to support keeping greater Louth special; that includes us all, not just the town centre.

I love all the shops in Louth, small, large and specialist and support them all as and when needed. I love the rest of Louth too, library, Seniors Forum, the market, Town Hall, cattle market, U3A, banks, allotments, Playhouse, leisure centre, the Nipper, Playgoers, Ants and Nats, museum, gardening club, Conoco Room, etc, etc, you name it we’ve got it.

But I also love Halfords, Focus, Darkes, Trotters etc, and would welcome other retailers, Lidl and Farmfoods to name two who wish to join them.

I wish Trotters all the best in their fight with ELDC. I think they would have come out better had they been called Halfords but I love the store and the name.

I am sure these views are supported by at least half the population of Louth – seniors, young couples, housewives, single parents, etc – looking for some budget shopping to save travelling to Grimsby Tesco and Lidl now and again.

Petrol is expensive; more reason to stay in greater Louth and shop.

We get bogged down for years with the larger stores doing the ELDC thing, trying to squeeze near the town centre, fighting ELDC planners, when we all know there is no room and the traffic system is not suitable. Then when they try greater Louth they get turned down re Lidl and Farmfoods.

Are the planners on our side? Are our rates paying for them to do this? Let Louth people decide, not councillors from all over East Lincolnshire.

I was in business for 35 years before retirement 10 years ago, and not once do I remember the planners protecting me from competition from bigger companies like they do the town centre stores, a nice feeling I am sure.

I had to survive without planners’ protection and keep special groups. They called it free enterprise. I am sure Louth shops could stand some of this.

So come on, let’s have a Tesco on the cattle market, it’s where the leisure centre should have been but it’s too late – they’ve plonked it on a football pitch.

We need value for money to subsidise the leisure centre and maybe reduce our rates, instead of subsidising a once-weekly auction.

Isn’t it time the cattle market moved somewhere more apropriate like the Legbourne Road in greater Louth and was self-financing rather than sudsidised by ELDC.

I don’t want this for the 5,000 visitors who signed a petition two years ago. I want it for the 10,000 plus Louth people who want these shops now.

I am sure Keep Louth Special discuss other items at their pub meetings, but I do keep seeing their Mr Louth on Calendar etc simply doing his best to protect Louth from supermarkets.

If supermarkets wish to invest in greater Louth and take their chances then I think we should make room for them.

Barry West

Christopher Close, Louth