‘Louth In Gloom?’ - Concerns over town’s grot spots

An accumulation of litter and dead foliage on the pavement in Church Street.
An accumulation of litter and dead foliage on the pavement in Church Street.

Residents, councillors, and the Civic Trust have shared their dismay over the state of Louth - amid concerns that the cleanliness and tidiness of the town is getting worse.

A displeased resident raised her concerns to the town council last month, leading to a conversation in which councillors - and subsequently, Louth Civic Trust - agreed that the state of the town has suffered lately.

Litter in the Gatherums.

Litter in the Gatherums.

Town and District councillor Jill Makinson-Sanders said: “I hardly meet anyone this summer who doesn’t complain about how run down Louth looks these days.

“In 2016 we won a gold medal at East Midlands in Bloom with a special prize for having such a clean environment, ideal if we want to encourage tourists here to support our struggling businesses. Where has this pride in Louth gone?

“Sadly, whilst we trumpet having a strategy for Wolds Tourism and have a costly stall at the Lincolnshire Show, we overlook the important things that bring people here like keeping our streets clean, flowers in the town centre, keeping open spaces mowed and tidy, and having pride in our very special town.

“We speak up but who is listening? The district plan for more development here pours more pressure on a town which does not have the infrastructure to cope.

It is obvious that we can no longer rely solely on ELDC to deal with the problem, and that the people of Louth must take back responsibility.

Louth Civic Trust chairman, James Laverack

“Louth is falling apart at the seams. What are the developers giving back?

“Why does no-one come to check the poor grass cutting, the state of our open spaces, the dirty streets, the state of our Conservation Area, the lack of interest in our failing market?

“I think the ELDC shop front scheme is a worthy idea but is it a case of too little, too late?

“I look after the In Bloom planters at the parish church and water the flowers every day and I know many of us now cut the grass verges too.

“We want Louth to look nice for residents and our important tourists but the councils need to do their tasks efficiently and effectively too.”

The Mayor of Louth, Coun George Horton, agreed with Coun Makinson-Sanders’ concerns.

He said: “We at the town council are receiving as many concerns are being aired regarding the state of town centres, especially Louth.

“A lady came to the last meeting at the Sessions House extremely upset as to the state of the town’s market place and surrounding area.

“Again I put the blame on to ELDC. They have increased rates but not only have they improved services, they have taken a backward step.”

James Laverack, chair of Louth Civic Trust, agreed that the state of the town has declined - but said we all need to take responsibility for this.

He said: “We have become extremely concerned about the state of Louth and the amount of litter. So much so that we have been out litter collecting on two occasions.

“It is obvious that we can no longer rely solely on ELDC to deal with the problem, and that the people of Louth must take back responsibility.

“To this end we are in the process of formulating initiatives to educate and encourage people and companies to keep the front of their own properties tidy.

“We are hoping to work with other organisation in the town to make Louth a better & more attractive place to live & work.”

Regarding the state of the Gatherums and the cleanliness of the bus station - which have been raised as specific concerns recently - ELDC’s Neighbourhoods Services Manager Danny Wilson said: “Unfortunately our grass cutting contractor had been unable to complete the cutting on two occasions as access to the area was blocked.

“However, grass cutting was undertaken at The Gatherums on June 23 and our team will be out to tidy the site and complete a litter pick following this. The length of the grass does mean that the area might look a little untidy for a short while, but this will return to its normal standard through routine cutting.

“The bus station is an area where we experience regular anti-social behaviour – particularly with the bins and toilets on site – and we 
do make every effort to clean up following these incidents.”

What are your thoughts on this issue? Email louthleader@jpress.co.uk