Sleaford Market Place the main concern for locals ahead of 2024 General Election

With the general election just over two weeks away, people in Lincolnshire will soon to the polls and make their voices heard. As part of our 5,000 voices project, we’re visiting constituencies across the East Midlands to find out about the issues people care about.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be speaking to people across Lincolnshire about the things which matter most to them. I spent the day in Sleaford and asked people about the problems which mattered to them. The main concerns were the closure of the market and many car parks across the town.

Brian Adison, 88, from Sleaford, said: “They don’t seem to take any notice of the locals. They’re closing the carpark, the market place. It’s ridiculous the way they’re going about it.”

Market trader Kevin Richie, 62, from Ruskington in Sleaford, said: “I think the main issue being a trader in Sleaford is that I just don’t understand any of the reason for shutting all the carparks so that people cannot come into Sleaford to do all their shopping.

“It’s got a serious impact on my business. The passing trade is getting less and less every week and if it weren’t for me being so local I certainly wouldn’t trade in Sleaford unfortunately.”

Julie Johnson, 70, from Sleaford, said: “With many car parks in the area are closing down, where are people going to park? There are hundreds of cars coming through the town every day and shutting them will only make this worse.”

Market trader Chris Ford, 63, from Spalding, said: “The closure of the market could be catastrophic. Hopefully, we’re moving to East Gate and hopefully my costumers will follow and we’ll be fine.

He added: “What this will do to the businesses locally, who knows.”

A 62-year-old man, who did not want to be named, said: “The council don’t consult with anyone from Sleaford. They just do as they like.”

With election for the area, I asked people what they would like to see from the newly-elected MP.

Karen Cooper, 43, from Sleaford, said: “We want the market place to stay and for the market stalls to come back.”

She added: “As a wheelchair user, access to the paths and shops are an issue. I feel some shops are very hard to move around, particularly when there’s a lot of packaging left around.

Bob Chapman, 77, from Essex who was visiting some family in Sleaford, said: “Locally and nationally, I’m concerned that Britain is losing half its wildlife. We’re the worst in the world for depletion of wildlife and I think the only solution to this is for this to be funded by governments.

Sandy Doughty, 62, from Sleaford, said: “A lot of people use the car park. The one opposite Wise Owls has been closed down. We just need a decent carpark.”

The General Election will take place on Thursday July 4th and voting happens between 7am and 10pm. The candidates for the Sleaford and North Hykeham Constituency are listed below:

  • Martin Christopher Blake – Green Party

  • Benjamin Jackson – Reform UK

  • Caroline Elizabeth Johnson – The Conservative Party

  • Hanif Ahmad Khan – Labour Party

  • Robert Arthur Oates – Lincolnshire Independents

  • Matthew Ray Winnington – Liberal Democrats

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