Victoria Atkins MP visited Louth’s Cattle Market ahead of tonight’s (Wednesday) East Lindsey District Council executive board meeting on the future of the site.
Ms Atkins, who has spoken openly in favour of retaining the current facility since the public consultation ended earlier this month, met with farmers, councillors, and the county chairman on the National Farmers Union (NFU) during her visit last Thursday.
Ms Atkins told the Leader: “This cattle market has played a really important part in the town’s history.
“I have come today to meet farmers and people who use the market to see what their views are on the future of the market.
“It was very clear to me, as the public consultation was running through, that people were really keen for it to stay.
“Perhaps freshen it up a bit and try to make better use of it. There’s been a great deal of enthusiasm for that from everyone I’ve met here today, so that is pleasing.
“What’s also clear is that this is a great market for smallholders and people who aren’t operating on a large scale.
“We must not forget family farms and small farms, not just now but in the future with Brexit - something I will be campaigning to remind Parliament of, that we must keep that small, niche specialism in farming for the benefit of not just us locally, but also for the country.”
Ms Atkins also said she believes the facility has ‘a great future’ ahead of it.
While Ms Atkins said she would not be so ‘discourteous’ as to prejudge the outcome of the executive board meeting, Ms Atkins said that it ‘bodes well’ that Coun Craig Leyland and Coun Adam Grist had declared their personal support for retaining and refurbishing the current cattle market in their Facebook Live broadcast the previous evening.
Coun Leyland - the leader of the District Council - and Coun Grist are just two of the eight executive board members, who will make their formal recommendation at their meeting which begins at 6pm tonight (Wednesday) at Louth Town Hall.
Their recommendation will be put forward to the 55 councillors who, together, make up East Lindsey District Council - and will have the final vote on the cattle market’s future on October 11.