Thousands shun ‘town council for Spalding debate’

Still hopeful a town council will appear in the future ... the Rev John Bennett.
Still hopeful a town council will appear in the future ... the Rev John Bennett.

Public apathy has sunk any immediate prospect of Spalding having a town council with only 454 people responding to a district council survey.

More than half were in favour of South Holland District Council staging a full review into setting up a town authority, but that fell far short of the number needed.

I am sure that the different local organisations working for a better future for Spalding will keep making the case for a town council and that, eventually, it will happen.

The Rev John Bennett

Town council supporter the Rev John Bennett said: “I am pleased that the majority of people who responded to the survey agreed that Spalding needs a town council. It is disappointing that the number of replies was a long way short of the target that the district council set for a referendum, but it was always going to be hard to get that many people to respond in the two weeks we were given.

“I am sure that the different local organisations working for a better future for Spalding will keep making the case for a town council and that, eventually, it will happen.”

A council spokesman said: “Following on from the low response rate to the recent consultation over the potential creation of a town council for Spalding, South Holland District Council will not be investigating this matter further.

“We would like to thank all of those individuals who responded. We received 454 responses, which fell a considerable way short of the target response rate that we set. Of those responses, 269 were in favour and 185 against.

“We do not consider this response sufficient to justify spending officer time and taxpayers’ money on a full review into setting up a town council. “However, if in future we were presented with sufficient numbers in favour of a town council to warrant starting a governance review, we would pursue this.

• The council had approved a two-week consultation and surveys went to all homes. The council said it would stage a full review if the public response was at least 15 per cent of the electorate (3,471) and at least half of the responses were in favour of investigating the question further.