All change as town takes control

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Sporting facilities, children’s playgrounds and prominent buildings are among the assets which Horncastle Town Council could take control of in the coming weeks.

The town council has confirmed it is in ‘advanced discussions’ with East Lindsey District Council about taking ownership and management of some key assets.

At an extraordinary meeting of the town council earlier this month, itwas agreed to secure the transfer of the following assets from ELDC:

•Bowling green off Hodson Green

•Town Hall (Stanhope Hall)

•Football ground

•Prospect Street Recreation Ground

•Cattle Market / The Wong

•Hamerton Gardens

•Site of ATC headquarters

•Site of Scout Hut

•Children’s playground at Coronation Walk

•Horncastle Playing Fields and sports pavilion in Coronation Walk

•Horncastle Indoor Bowling Club, Coronation Walk

•Cricket Ground, Coronation Walk

•Electricity sub-station, Coronation Walk

•Amenity Spaces, Coronation Walk.

The comprehensive list ends lengthy speculation about exactly what assets the town council would take on.

At one stage, there was speculation the public toilets in St Lawrence Street and some ELDC car parks would be on the list.

In a statement, the town council confirmed it had not sought a transfer of all the assets presented to it by ELDC.

The town council says some of the assets were considered to be ‘too resource intensive.’

Minutes from the meeting also confirm some councillors were concerned that taking on too many assets would inflate the town council’s share of annual tax bills.

The package of assets proposed will now be considered by ELDC.

Provided there are no issues, the assets could be transferred during the next financial year.

The town council stresses many of the assets are managed by clubs who do an excellent job.

The clubs will continue to run the respective assets, so very little will change, except the landlord may be the town council, instead of the ELDC.

The town council says one of the main benefits will be that all future decisions about what it calls ‘essential facilities’ will be made in Horncastle.

One asset the town council is particularly passionate to take back under local ownership is the Cattle Market and The Wong, including the car park. Councillors stress they will ensure the car park remains free of charge, and the area protected from housing development.

Mayor Coun Brian Burbidge said taking control of the assets was a ‘wonderful opportunity that could not be missed.’