Man dead for 33 years on Caistor council ‘hit list’

Muriel Smith EMN-160215-084206001

Muriel Smith EMN-160215-084206001

  • Councillor says details should not have been made public
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A woman has been left distraught after a council list of properties needing attention included the name of her father - who died 33 years ago.

Muriel Smith fought back tears as she confronted Caistor Town Council during the public forum part of the authority’s monthly meeting at the town hall on Thursday, February 11.

“I feel very hurt and upset that his name has been tarnished”

Muriel Smith

The list includes the name ‘Wracks’ - the name of her late father Charles Wrack’s saddler and cobbler business in South Street.

Mrs Smith said: “My father has been dead 33 years.

“I will not have my father’s name on a list.

“He did an awful lot for Caistor for nothing.

“So why is my father’s name on this list?”

Mrs Smith has also lodged a complaint about the town council to West Lindsey District Council.

In her letter she states: “I feel very hurt and upset that his name has been tarnished.”

Back in December town councillors voted in favour of compiling a list of empty properties to send to WLDC, pushing for action to encourage owners to bring back buildings into 
use.

Speaking at Thursday’s meeting, Coun Alan Caine said: “I put forward a motion (at a previous meeting) that we looked at a number of properties, commercial properties.

“I did not anticipate that list going in the public domain until we’d done some 
research.

“We could do with some new businesses. Somehow… that list grew to any number of non-commercial premises as 
well.”

Mayor Carole MacKenzie said various councillors contributed to the list.

And she told Mrs Smith: “This is a personal matter to you and the public forum is meant to be raising questions about agenda 
items. We will be discussing empty properties with West Lindsey in t`he near 
future.”

The former Wracks store is now empty and the shop name sign was taken down several years ago. Mrs Smith has now sold the building.

Mr Wrack also owned a building plot in Plough Hill. This is now owned by Mrs Smith.

Speaking at December’s meeting, Coun Mike Galligan said the town’s main problem was empty buildings.

He said: “Caistor’s main problem at the moment is derelict buildings.

“We want action, we want action now.”

Unlike the town council, the district council has details of building 
ownership.

One of the town’s most notable empty buildings is the Grade Two listed Westgate House in Plough Hill, which has been derelict for many years.

Coun Martin Sizer told the same meeting that some of the town’s ‘iconic buildings’ were in a bad state.

He said: “That will continue unless something is done now.”