Campaigns boosted by a ‘grand’ gesture!

Sheila Jonkers - one of the leading figures in the ongoing bid to preserve Horncastle's Roman Wall
Sheila Jonkers - one of the leading figures in the ongoing bid to preserve Horncastle's Roman Wall

Councillors in Horncastle have awarded £1,000 each to two fighting funds - one to keep the Youth Centre open and the other to preserve the town’s 2,000- year-old Roman Wall.

The money has come from Anglian Water as compensation after residents in the town and surrounding villages were warned to boil their tap water in July.

Traces of E.coli were discovered in one sample of water, leading to the warning being issued to 2,000 residents.

Town councillors took the decision to support the two campaigns at their monthly meeting last week.

The fight to save the Youth Centre was launched after Lincolnshire County Council warned it intended to shut the building at the end of this month.

The authority said it had taken the decision because the building - off Jubilee Way - needed extensive and expensive repairs.

The announcement shocked the many organisations that use the building. They feared there is no other suitable - or affordable - accommodation locally, despite assurances from the County Council.

A community working group - chaired by town councillor Dominic Hinkins - has been set up - with the support of user groups and residents.

Their first aim is to stave off the closure and then secure the centre’s long-term future.

The group has submitted a business plan to the county council, identifying a way forward - including funding.

Meanwhile, the town’s county councillor Bill Aron has met county council leader Martin Hill to discuss the future of the centre.

Coun Aron confirmed he had asked if Coun Hill would revisit the ‘ condition survey’ as reports the working group had received don’t appear to be as ‘problematic’ as initially feared.

Coun Aron said: “I stressed the importance of keeping the facility open and I explained the Working Group were looking at initial funding with the help of the County Council’s Community Engagement Team and recording all the offers of help.

“I was really pleased that the Town Council offered to open the fund.”

The campaign to save a section of the Roman Wall - Horncastle’s oldest structure - is well underway.

Around £100,000 is needed to repair and preserve a stretch near to the Community Centre and St Mary’s Square. The town’s History and Heritage Society is looking to raise £10,000, alongside securing a £90,000 grant from Historic England. The public can ‘sponsor a stone’ for £10.