Grantham Journal column: Town council would give people a say in important matters

Coun Charmaine Morgan.
Coun Charmaine Morgan.
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Under a proposal agreed by David Cameron last week the Scottish Referendum took place.

As media and political debate focussed on the impact in Scotland of a Yes result, it was clear among those of us not in Scotland that our NHS, our economy, our national security and our way of life were at risk.

However, unlike the Scots, we were unable to take part in one of the most important elections in our nation’s history making the referendum a democratic travesty. The whole situation needs a thorough examination. We need a fair and democratic solution.

The people of Grantham may spot a parallel in local politics as important decisions about the future of our town are made at district and county level. Even the smallest rural parishes have more say than Grantham residents in key areas including planning matters. For example, the Southern Quadrant development (Spitalgate Heath) outline plans are now in public consultation. The parish council AGM of Londonthorpe and Harrowby Without quite rightly received a presentation from SKDC planning officers this Wednesday. I have sought parity for residents and businesses of neighbouring Grantham St Anne’s, St John’s and Harrowby wards. SKDC officers have agreed to consult further in this instance, but there is no automatic provision for district ward consultation under the current planning structure.

Another Conservative leader whose judgement is in question is leader of LCC Coun Martin Hill. His cabinet is still in the spotlight given the outcome of the library campaigners’ judicial review. Today (Friday), at LCC’s full council meeting, the Labour Group is calling for LCC to re-think library service cuts. Despite losing 90 computer hours a week, Grantham residents had little say in the consultation process. We had no collective voice for our town.

A town council gives us a voice. We are petitioning SKDC to complete a community governance review. The review would identify costs associated with a town council for consideration. Grantham residents on the electoral register may sign the petition. To help with petitioning call 07429 334260.