Following the recent conclusion of the public consultation about the future of the site, the two top councillors spoke freely during a ‘Facebook Live’ video broadcast at 8pm yesterday evening, in which they both voiced their support for ‘Option 3’ - retaining and refurbishing the current site in Newmarket.
However, next week’s executive board meeting will result in a formal recommendation which will be put forward to the 55 district councillors across East Lindsey, who will ultimately make the final decision on October 11.
Coun Adam Grist said that this vote ought to settle the matter for ‘a generation’, in a bid to avoid the kind of uncertainty which has cast a shadow over the cattle market over the last few years - and finally settle the long-term future of the site.
Coun Leyland told the viewing audience that he will be ‘pushing for Option 3 to be supported’ at the executive board meeting on September 27.
Coun Grist agreed, saying he had also privately support Option 3 for a while.
He explained that executive board councillors had agreed not to share their own views until the consultation had ended.
In expressing their preference for retaining the current cattle market, Coun Leyland and Coun Grist are in agreement with Louth Town Council, the National Farmers’ Union (NFU), and Louth & Horncastle MP Victoria Atkins who visited the facility today (Thursday) to speak with farmers and councillors.
Both councillors said they were pleased with the quality and quantity of the public consultation responses, of which there were over 4,100 in total.
Of these responses, around 84 per cent were in favour of Option 3 - retaining and refurbishing the current site.
Only 7 per cent of respondents supported building a new cattle market elsewhere in Louth (namely the Fairfield Industrial Estate) and selling off the current site, while only 8 per cent of respondents favoured selling the current site and seeking a Private Act of Parliament to remove the requirement for the District Council to provide a cattle market altogether.
• The executive board will meet at Louth Town Hall on Wednesday September 27, at 6pm, to decide on their formal recommendation to the full council.