Devolution question heading for Spalding

Coun 'Roger Gambba-Jones raised the idea of Spalding having its own town council at a meeting of Spalding Town Forum.
Coun 'Roger Gambba-Jones raised the idea of Spalding having its own town council at a meeting of Spalding Town Forum.
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Voters in Spalding could be following Scottish people to the polls over plans to form a new town or parish council.

The idea of creating a new level for the town was discussed at a meeting of Spalding Town Forum on Wednesday.

District councillors in Spalding, along with business and civic leaders, are to discuss the idea further at a forum meeting on December 10.

During the meeting, district councillor for Spalding Wygate Coun Roger Gambba-Jones said: “Spalding has a population of over 28.000 people and the population of South Holland is around 85,000 people.

“It means a third of the population in South Holland isn’t represented democratically like every other area of South Holland is. Spalding happens to have the district council located in it and i don’t think we should be frightened off from asking the council if we could share some resources.

“There’s no cost benefit in having a town council but it’s about democracy and about moving closer to the people we purport to represent, without it getting political.”

According to a parliamentary report published in February, there are estimated to be about 9,500 parish councils in England covering only 30 per cent of the population.

Parish councils, as opposed to town councils, already exist in Crowland, Holbeach and Long Sutton with responsibility for providing and maintaining allotments, cemeteries, bus shelters and playing fields.

After the meeting, Coun Gambba-Jones said: “There are several reasons for suggesting to the town forum that the issue of a council for Spalding should be looked at.

“Firstly, Spalding is growing quickly at the same time as local government is seeing greater downward pressure on its budgets.

“As such, South Holland District Council has to balance the demands of the whole district against those of individual areas when considering where to deploy its limited resources.

“Having a local council, whose only priority is the care of Spalding, gives local people the option to set their own priorities for the town.”