Grantham Journal column: ‘We’ll give local people a say about their town,’ says UKIP councillor Mike Taylor
This year is the first time UKIP will be standing in the South Kesteven District Council elections.
We thought it would be helpful to residents if we out lined what UKIP councillors will do for our town.
Grantham-based councillors make up only a small number of those who make decisions on the major issues affecting the town. We don’t have a democratic voice on our own future. Many decisions affecting our highways, schools and other major issues are made from Lincoln at the county council. It is our belief that we need to bring back these powers to our area.
We propose to pursue the creation of a single unitary authority which combines South and North Kesteven District Councils. This would bring decision-making back to our area for the first time since 1974 and will ensure local decisions are made by local people.
This new unitary authority would give the residents of Grantham a say in their own future and allow us to focus on the big issues in our area, including the improvement, creation and repair of crucial infrastructure such as roads, without having to adhere to decisions made by LCC, which cannot and does not focus on our specific requirements. Part of this would be further investigation into the potential building of a northern bypass which would remove the A607 from our town.
It would also allow us to challenge the “growth” boom which sees massive over-development all over the country, including Grantham. It is UKIP policy to put all large local developments to local referenda, giving residents the final say on what is built where.
We need to ask serious questions about our high street. We must accept that the shopping area will not return to the pre-internet age and look towards a more centralised, pedestrianised shopping and entertainment experience. We would suggest using now empty properties in the town centre for residential redevelopment to reduce house building on our precious green spaces.
We fully support our hospital and will work with any organisation looking to reinstate services lost in recent years.
We intend to accelerate Grantham’s potential for business growth by pursuing an improvement in the infrastructure crucial to business, such as internet speeds, mobile coverage, and 4G access and road and rail links. We would also look to set up a business incubation and apprenticeship centre.
UKIP is a firm believer in the value of the democratic process, and councillors will engage residents in the local political process as much as possible, including those demographics that are often ignored, such as the elderly or the young.
Councillors work without a “whip” system – we are there to represent the views and wishes of our constituents and not to play party politics and toe a party line. We will be honest, open, and accessible.