Lincolnshire

Lincolnshire County Council ‘a laughing stock’ over dropped unitary authority referendum plans

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Labour councillors on Lincolnshire County Council will vote against plans for a consultation on scrapping the seven district councils – as well as the county council – later this week.

As previously reported, county council leader Martin Hill dropped plans for a unitary authority referendum after legal challenges were brought by three of the other district councils, including City of Lincoln Council.

Proposals would see the current county and district councils dissolved and replaced with one or a few authorities, responsible for the delivery of all services.

County councillors will vote on the plans to hold a public consultation – not a referendum – on Friday, February 24.

Councillor John Hough, leader of the Labour group on Lincolnshire County Council, described the council leadership as “a shambles”.

He said: “Councillor Hill has made Lincolnshire County Council into a laughing stock. He has gone round the houses four times and now wants a blank cheque to do whatever he wants about this.

“This is no way to consider any plans for the future of Lincolnshire.

“The county council should be concentrating on getting its own house in order and delivering services before trying to interfere in what district councils are currently doing.

“Who will want to support a unitary council in Lincolnshire based on a county council that cannot even keep the lights on?

“District councils are more accessible and closer to the people than the remote county council.

“As more and more staff are made redundant by the county council trying to get an answer from a person at the county council has become more and more difficult.

“We are calling for this grab for power by the county council to be rejected on Friday and will be voting against it.”