Councillors get £5,000 pots to tackle your problems

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INDIVIDUAL councillors will be given cash pots of £5,000 to sort out problems affecting residents in their wards.

South Holland District Council is looking to fast-track fixes to the niggling problems that residents want sorting – and will give each member a pot of cash to do just that.

Details of all of the money spent through these funding pots will then be published on the council’s website so that people can hold their councillor to account.

Council leader Gary Porter said: “You know when you get those annoying things that the council seem to take forever to fix? Members will be able to cut through the red tape and get on with it.

“It is the small things that really do wind people up. Bureaucracy in the council, as in any council, takes so long to get through but with £5,000 each the members won’t have to go through that process.

“It’s not a massive amount of money but is just enough to do those little fixes that people want.”

The scheme, expected to be rolled out by the new look council following last week’s election, builds on pilot projects in Holbeach and Donington.

The money will only pay for things in the district council’s powers, such as extra dog and litter bins where needed, but Coun Porter says it could prove a blueprint for county councillors if successful.

The announcement comes as part of Coun Porter’s pledge to get more involved with residents and find out what they want from the council (see below) at the start of the new four-year term.

Last week Coun Porter’s ruling Conservative group kept control of the council, winning 25 of the 37 seats on the authority.

Coun Porter says that the ward-specific budgets will put the spotlight on the members – who will have to be even more directly accountable to their voters.

He added: “If we are going to have fewer officers then members are going to have to be that link, even more so than they are anyway.

“The opportunities could be really good if we can get it right.”