Negative publicity around Gainsborough is ‘killing’ the town and its market, a councillor has claimed.
The number of stalls has continued to fall, with Saturday’s Farmers Market at just half of the target.
However Councillor Roger Patterson (Conservative – Scampton) told the West Lindsey District Council meeting there’s a lot to love about Gainsborough.
He urged people to stop talking it down.
“Some people are keen to put Gainsborough down. You see stories in the press about ‘crime waves’ which wouldn’t be reported in places like Lincoln – there’s lot of negative publicity,” he said.
“It’s a wonderful, vibrant community, but people get the impression that it’s a crime-ridden place with lots of anti-social behaviour.
“I don’t know how much that puts people off, but I suspect it has repercussions.
“The lack of public transport is also an issue – it’s easier to get to Scunthorpe or Lincoln from many places than Gainsborough.
“I’d like to see more good news about the town and market. I was there the other day and there were lots of people. Parking prices are some of the cheapest in the area – a mile cheaper Lincoln.
“If we keep talking it down, it will kill the town and district. We need more positive news so people know this isn’t a bad place.”
A report presented to the Overview and Scrutiny Committee showed the challenges facing the town’s market.
There were an average of 23 stalls on a Tuesday in the second quarter of the year, down from 33 the same time last year.
There were an average of seven on a Sunday, down from 12.
Both days fell short of the targets of 37 and 14 respectively.
Councillor Jackie Brockway (Conservative – Saxilby) noted the fall could be down to changing shopping habits, saying: “Everyone is shopping in considerably different ways to how we used to.”
A three-year action plan is underway to improve West Lindsey’s markets, starting in 2023.
The report notes that any improvements are likely to be a gradual and may not appear in the first year.
MyLocal Lincolnshire is the new home of The Lincolnite. Download the app now