Lincolnshire crime commissioner has ‘no doubt’ Lincoln Christmas Market could be run safely

With the dust of local elections now settled, City of Lincoln Council is preparing for the year ahead. While the majority party, Labour, has dismissed a return for the city’s Christmas market it scrapped, it would appear opposition parties are not giving up hope just yet.

The Lincoln Christmas Market, a popular and much-celebrated event for generations, was shelved by City of Lincoln Council in 2023 following safety concerns at the last event, as overcrowding sparked fear of catastrophe uphill in 2022. It was a decision that wasn’t taken lightly by the council, and the local authority received backlash for its call to scrap arguably the city’s most recognisable and popular annual event.

Lincolnshire’s freshly re-elected Police and Crime Commissioner Marc Jones said he had “absolutely no doubt” that a safe Christmas Market could be run in Lincoln, but stated it would not be “identical” to the previous product. He said: “You have to manage the numbers and flow of people to ensure that is happening safely.

Get the latest Lincolnshire Live news with our email newsletters

“I have absolutely no doubt you could run a safe event in Lincoln that could be a Christmas Market. It wouldn’t look identical to the old market, but would be a good Christmas Market that took in all the historic parts of Lincoln and you could do it.

“The reality is that these things come at a cost, they take up a huge amount of resources in planning terms, and I would guess that the city council feels, given its resources, that it probably wanted a new direction.”

Mr Jones went on to say that safety was “probably one element” but not the only factor that resulted in the event being stopped, and felt the ability to run a safe event in Lincoln was not an “impossibility”. He added: “It’s no different to anywhere else that runs events of size and scale, it’s about working together in partnership and working well to keep people safe, and I think we could do that.”

Lincolnshire Police and Crime Commissioner Marc Jones
Lincolnshire Police and Crime Commissioner Marc Jones

At council level, this has been a divisive topic that has seen party lines split more than perhaps any other issue in the city. The Conservatives fronted their City of Lincoln Council election campaign this year on a pledge to reinstate the Christmas Market, and even tabled a motion to add £190,000 to this year’s events budget for a “sustainable” return.

This amendment was voted down by the City of Lincoln Council as Labour argued the money was “simply not enough”, and come election time the voting population of the city were not convinced by the Conservatives’ arguments for the market. The party lost four seats and only retained Witham of the 11 wards up for grabs at the May elections, in what was a damaging night for the Conservatives.

It left the blue side of the chamber with just five seats remaining on the council, bringing it level with the Liberal Democrats and therefore triggering a change in the Leader of the Opposition role. Councillor Clare Smalley took over from Councillor Tom Dyer following the elections, but both parties pale in significance against the 23 seats held by Labour on the local authority.

Councillor Clare Smalley
Councillor Clare Smalley

Upon her announcement as the new lead opposition, Councillor Smalley said the past few years had seen the local Labour Party “lose their way”, pointing to decisions such as the cancellation of the Christmas Market. “Residents are fed up with Labour’s vanity projects, paying more for less and decisions being taken behind closed doors,” she said.

“We will be robustly scrutinising the performance of the Labour administration. The past few years has seen Lincoln Labour lose their way; from the cancellation of the Christmas Market, flytipping and graffiti becoming endemic and frontline services in tatters.

“Lincoln Labour’s decision to swap Ric (Councillor Metcalfe) for Naomi (Councillor Tweddle) is however a signal to residents of more of the same. After a decade of Labour mismanagement at City Hall, continuity just won’t cut it.”

On her first day as the new City of Lincoln Council leader, Councillor Naomi Tweddle shrugged off suggestions of a return for the event.

She said: “There are no plans to bring the Christmas Market back, but we do have lots of amazing events. You’d have seen the festival of history recently, which I visited with my family, and it was just amazing.

“We have lots of other exciting events coming up. There are lots of different things we can do in this amazing city.”

Councillor Tweddle played an integral role in the replacement events last year, such as the monster invasion and ice trail along the city, and hopes to keep the momentum by rolling out a series of new events for the people of Lincoln to enjoy throughout the year.

Click Here to see original article Massive Hits is not responsible for external links, or news feed content.

Scroll to Top