The potentially sensitive issue of councillors calling for improvements to privately-owned property was highlighted on Thursday (February 11, 2016) during the public forum of a council meeting.
Caistor Town Council had recently agreed to draw up a list of buildings with the intention of lobbying West Lindsey District Council to take action over them.
A member of the public turned up to Thursday’s meeting to express her anger that a property that she has recently sold was included on the list.
The councillors’ initial focus when compiling the list originally seemed to be property that looked run down or had been unoccupied for a very long time. Neither of these criteria applied to many properties on the list, which named 23 sites in total.
Clearly upset, the member of the public queried whether there had been a conflict of interest with regard to one councillor.
She said the building was referred to in a way that had not been relevant for some years and in a way that she found hurtful to her family.
She pointed out that the building had not recently been unoccupied, and that its appearance was no worse than nearby properties.
Several councillors made a response. One said the listing might have referred to the rear of her former property. In fact, the rear of the property was also listed as a separate item. One said he never envisaged that the list would enter into the public domain until there had been some more research. One of the councillors also said the list was going to be reviewed.
Mayor Carol Mackenzie said the discussion was entering into some very personal matters which were not suitable for the public forum.
The member of the public had also wanted to express her view on Millfields Park, which she said used to be referred to as “Pig Field”.
“We have not many places left in Caistor where we can go and the children have a natural habitat to play in,” she said. “Please can we have it as a natural resource for children if the playground is taken out?”
“There is a process for people in Caistor to make their views (on Millfields) known,” said Mayor Mackenzie, “but your concerns are noted.”
Pictured is the former council offices off Southdale, one of the buildings originally discussed by councillors when it was decided a list of properties should be compiled.