Forum plea: shift Stanton from CBD

01:48, Feb 25 2013
Lewis Stanton
URBAN MENACE: Lewis Stanton and his horse Barney outside the Fico Finance building in Hardy St. Fico Finance CEO Geoff Lawes has implored the council to move Stanton on.

A perfect place for Nelson horse and cart man Lewis Stanton to park was in New St, away from retail shops, the Nelson City Council was told yesterday.

Fico Finance chief executive Geoff Lawes and Marshalls Fashions owner Gail McLean addressed the council during its public forum. Both have clashed with Mr Stanton when he has parked his horse and cart for extended periods close to their premises in Hardy and Bridge Sts respectively.

They each said that Mr Stanton's repeated and lengthy occupation of carparks made the difficult trading environment worse.

Mr Lawes said it was time for the council to "get proactive" and look at providing several places in the city where horse-drawn vehicles could be parked without unfairly affecting retailers or businesses.

"I think some lateral thinking could solve this problem and maybe even bring out the best in Lewis as well," he said.

Mrs McLean said many of her customers were elderly and felt intimidated when Mr Stanton parked outside her shop.

"These are difficult times without the added stress that Lewis causes," she said. A park beside the empty council Hub building in New St would be ideal, she said, with ample space for Mr Stanton, his horse and his belongings and plenty of foot traffic so he could continue to offer rides.

"It could be a win-win situation for everyone," she said. "Please think about it."

Mayor Aldo Miccio later told the Nelson Mail that the council had been trying to find a solution to Mr Stanton's behaviour for 18 months. He had to be treated the same as any other citizen, and if he broke the law it became a police matter, Mr Miccio said.