Lincs: Seven district councils could be abolished in a bid to save £30m

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The leader of Lincs County Council is looking at how to save £30m and has floated a plan to abolish seven district councils.

Coun Martin Hill, Leader of Lincs County Council, said: “We know our funding will continue to be cut significantly as the Government works to balance the books. After all the savings this council has already made, it’ll be a big challenge to find more, although I’m sure it can be done.”

“However, it’s worth remembering that, since 2010, local government has absorbed bigger spending cuts than any other part of the public sector. Councils now believe it’s time for those other departments to shoulder a larger share of the load, and we’ll be making that argument strongly to Government.”

“This authority will also be campaigning for a fairer grant allocation for Lincolnshire, which still receives much less than many other areas.”

“Besides lobbying for a fairer financial settlement, we’ll be asking the Government to devolve more powers to local areas, enabling us to work more closely with key partners like the district councils, health and the police.”

“We’ve done some initial work and, for example, if we went for one unitary authority, we would save about £30m a year. I’m not saying that this is the answer but we can’t ignore that issue.”

“However, the aim is not just to generate savings, but also to provide good services for local people, which is what councils are all about.”

Manjeet Gill, Chief Executive of West Lindsey District Council said: “Lincs County Council via the chief executives have shared with district chief executives at their monthly meeting, a couple of weeks ago, that they are leading a review of a unitary council. They respect that we were having elections and would engage after elections on our position.”

“We as chief executives expressed a desire to be engaged as partners in any review and understand the best outcomes and options for public reform. We need to look at all models not just unitary for example combined authorities and what are the priorities for the district’s prosperity and resident’s needs.”

“We have just had an election and are awaiting our annual council next Thursday, which will elect the leader of the council. The council will then engage with its neighbouring councils, the county and other districts to seek a collective voice on what is best for the district.”