County Councillor: ‘Rest assured I will make it my priority to see what I can do in regards to St Lawrence Street’

The newly-elected county councillor for Horncastle & The Keals has promised to make it his priority to see what he can do in regards to closing St Lawrence Street.

St Lawrence Street. Picture: John Aron Photography.

Councillor William Gray was elected last month and attended Horncastle Town Council’s meeting in May to give updates on how he would tackle ongoing issues in the town.

Speaking at the meeting, Coun Gray said: “There are numerous ongoing issues in Horncastle, in particular highways issues.

“I realise how important these issues are to the town and the need to get them sorted.”

Coun Gray met recently with senior representatives at Lincolnshire County Council to discuss outstanding issues.

He also referred to the ongoing battle to close St Lawrence Street after traders in Louth managed to get the Cornmarket closed.

He explained: “There is a real reluctance from the highways authority to close St Lawrence Street but we do have to approach it in a different manner.

“In Louth, it was a number of business owners that went to Lincolnshire County Council (LCC) and East Lindsey District Council (ELDC) and got pavement licenses to close the Cornmarket.

“Quite clearly they have achieved great things in Louth.

“My initial discussions with businesses in Horncastle, particularly Market Place and around St Lawrence Street, have not been so positive but I am not put off by that – we just need to sell it in a different way.

“The MP is behind the St Lawrence Street closure.

“Rest assured that I will make it my priority to see what I can do in regards to St Lawrence Street.”

Earlier in the meeting, there was a discussion regarding whether ELDC had made any progress on helping to close St Lawrence Street.

Mayor, Councillor Fiona Martin, said: “ELDC have, and will continue to support, proposals to close St Lawrence Street, but we do not have the power to close it.”

Town Councillor Angela Birchall made a suggestion that perhaps traders in Horncastle could adopt a similar approach to those in Louth and contact LCC directly.

Town Councillor Alan Lockwood said: “The traders who would benefit are reluctant to apply for licenses until they know St Lawrence Street will be closed.

“They really want it to happen.”

Councillors also discussed how pothole repairs are carried out by LCC gangs.

Town Councillor Matthew Wilkinson said: “There is a perception that Horncastle doesn’t get much done on repairs in regards to highways.

“Fix My Street - I think is quite a good tool to report any faults.

“Is it possible to get a monthly update just on the core data that has gone into FixMyStreet relevant to Horncastle? I think if we as a council have some transparency on those works that would be helpful.”

Coun Gray replied: “That is possible – there is an app available to County Councillors which does just that.”

Coun Lockwood said: “We were promised that with the change in contract there would be flexibility available to gangs so if they were sent to repair a pothole and there was another one nearby that needed repairing they could do that one too but it appears that is not the case.”

Coun Gray said: “My understanding is that there is the flexibility that gangs can carry out the repairs.

“It could be that the information is not being passed on to all the gangs.”