YOUR VIEW: Devolution decision a great escape for us

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I feel that Coun Porter is wrong in his statement that the rejection of the Greater Lincolnshire devolution bid is a missed chance.

It is, in fact, for the residents of Lincolnshire, a great escape.

As is usual with town hall politicians, Cllr Porter seems to think it is all about money, with the bid projected to bring hundreds of millions of pounds flowing into council coffers.

Reference should be made of the price that the people of Lincolnshire could have ended up paying.

Any devolution deal would have given the council enhanced powers over council tax and business rates, as well as borrowing and financial arrangements.

It does not take much imagination to see exactly who would be picking up the tab if the combined authority were to overspend.

I can imagine a whole raft of additional taxes being passed by the authority to generate extra revenue.

And if that was not bad enough, the combined authority would also have taken control of health and social care.

While budgets for local government between 2010 2016 have gone down, funding for health has gone up over the same period.

With healthcare being brought under local control, there was a real fear that, without ring fencing, funding would be allocated to other areas that have had to sustain cuts.

Finally, we come to the position of the mayor, which would have served as another layer of bureaucracy – and a genuine focal point – for taxpayers to hold accountable at a cost of £600,000 a year.

Most political commentators seem to feel that the Government is only insisting on areas having a mayor to shoulder the blame for the cuts implemented by Whitehall.

People just cannot see why this position is needed and it could well have been one of the reasons why the bid ultimately failed.

I am pleased that Lincolnshire rejected the devolution plan because, like all Government ideas, the devil is in the detail.