UPDATED 24 FEBRUARY – A Personal Message from Council Leader Cllr Martin Hill OBE – February 2017
Cllr Hill explains why a poll on transforming local government in Lincolnshire won’t now be possible – although some form of consultation could still happen.
In my previous article, I explained why I’d like the council to ask residents’ views about the future of local government in the county.
In particular, I suggested that we could have a poll on 4 May, when many residents will already be going out to vote in the county council elections.
The idea was to keep administrative costs to a minimum – and to encourage a high turnout – by holding the two things together.
Unfortunately, it won’t now be possible to hold a poll on 4 May, which is deeply disappointing.
For various reasons, some of the county’s seven district councils – the bodies responsible for conducting the elections – are not prepared to co-operate.
Although I don’t personally agree with their legal and other objections, the county council can’t require them to help with the holding of a poll.
Instead, the county council will be discussing at its meeting on 24 February whether to find out your views in a different way.
This could take the form of some kind of consultation – perhaps through County News, this website and other means – later in the year.
In that consultation, residents would be asked if they support in principle the idea of moving to a “unitary” system of local government in Lincolnshire.
My previous article explained what that would involve, and why it could be a really good thing for local services in the county.
But it isn’t about what I think – or any other county or district councillors.
It’s about local residents – which is why I’ll be arguing strongly on 24 February for some form of consultation with you as soon as we’ve identified the best option.
UPDATE ON 24 FEBRUARY: At the meeting, councillors voted to seek the views of county residents on the principle of moving to a unitary system of local government in Lincolnshire.