Town council in emergency talks with charity

Market Rasen's Air Ambulance shop which will be closing in December EMN-180308-145833001
Market Rasen's Air Ambulance shop which will be closing in December EMN-180308-145833001

Market Rasen Town Council has held an emergency private meeting with the Lincs & Notts Air Ambulance charity - but says the town’s under-threat shop “will close”.

Last month town councillors called for an urgent public meeting with the charity’s chief executive to discuss the controversial closure of Market Rasen’s popular air ambulance shop.

Market Rasen's Air Ambulance shop which will be closing in December EMN-180308-145833001

Market Rasen's Air Ambulance shop which will be closing in December EMN-180308-145833001

Market Rasen town clerk Faye Lambkin-Smith this week told the Mail a meeting has taken place between herself, town Mayor John Matthews and a ‘representative’ from the Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire Air Ambulance charity.

And, she said, councillors were ‘disappointed’ a private meeting had taken place, rather than the public meeting they had requested.

Ms Lambkin-Smith said the representative from the charity had reported that its Market Rasen shop was not receiving enough donations, and that footfall was down.

On occasions the charity shop has been unable to open due to a lack of volunteers, the town clerk claims she was told during the meeting.

And Ms Lambkin-Smith said the charity representative told the council it had not been an easy decision to close the shop.

Ms Lambkin-Smith said: “Unfortunately, the shop will close in December.”

The charity’s CEO Karen Jobling previously wrote to the town council outlining how the Market Rasen shop was to close in December because it was not making enough money.

And in a statement to the Rasen Mail, Ms Jobling said: “Our charity continues to be overwhelmed by the support we have received from the people of Market Rasen following our difficult decision to cease trading at our current premises.

“Following a comprehensive review of our entire retail operations in early 2017, it was clear the Market Rasen shop had been declining for many years.

“Over the last 18 months, we have been working hard with the shop staff and volunteers to improve this, including the recruitment of a dedicated part-time shop manager and a review on pricing and restocking the shop.

“Despite our best efforts, the main reasons for the shop’s decline is a significant fall in passing trade, together with a drop in donated goods from local residents.”

At the time of going to press the charity had not responded to requests for a comment on the private meeting with the town council.