Hill confirms shelving of poll for one Lincolnshire council

Coun Martin Hill, Leader of Lincolnshire County Council, said a decision to scrap plans for a countywide poll on a new, unitary council was due to "some of the countys seven district councils not (being) prepared to co-operate".  Photo supplied.
Coun Martin Hill, Leader of Lincolnshire County Council, said a decision to scrap plans for a countywide poll on a new, unitary council was due to "some of the countys seven district councils not (being) prepared to co-operate". Photo supplied.
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A poll to find out whether voters in South Holland and the rest of Lincolnshire want a new, countywide council has been shelved.

In a statement today, Lincolnshire County Council Leader Martin Hill accused some of the county’s seven district and borough council of being “not prepared to cooperate” with the planned poll on May 4.

A virtual referendum of having a Lincolnshire-wide county would have taken place on the same day as a new chamber of 70 county councillors are to elected.

Instead, the county council will meet next Friday to discuss how the so-called “transforming (of) local government in Lincolnshire”, and people’s views on it, can be heard “in a different way”.

In his statement, Coun Hill said: “I (have) explained why I would like the council to ask residents for their views about the future of local government in the county.

“In particular, I suggested that we could have a poll on May 4 when many residents will already be going out to vote in the county council elections.

For various reasons, some of the county’s seven district councils – the bodies responsible for conducting the elections – are not prepared to cooperate

Coun Martin Hill, Leader of Lincolnshire County Council

“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 May 4 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 cooperate.

“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 February 24 whether to find out your views in a different way.

“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.

“It isn’t about what I think, or any other county or district councillors.

“It is about local residents which is why I will be arguing strongly on February 24 for some form of consultation with you as soon as we have identified the best option.