Grantham Journal columnist: A unitary authority formed years ago would have saved millions of pounds, says David Burling

David Burling - Labour
David Burling - Labour
Share this article
Have your say

This is my first column for a while and a lot has been happening whilst I have been away.

Firstly, we have Nick Boles and the Conservative Party claiming credit for moving a project on that they are solely responsible for procrastinating over for 75 years.

Our MP has been promoted in a reshuffle that seems to play tokenism in election year.

Finally, our local Tory politicians have taken a U-turn and are now in complete favour of a unitary authority for Lincolnshire.

This little snippet was a complete shock for me as all of them have continually argued against this move for years. When I suggested it in 2009/2010, councillors at the time suggested it was a Labour pet project that did not deliver more efficiency and resulted in less accountability. What they were really concerned about was the loss of allowances as the district level council would be abolished. This showed itself most when Nick Boles suggested the same idea two years later.

But now they are completely in favour. Some even had the audacity to question why Labour had not forced the authority to become unitary. Councillor Mike Taylor (as reported last week) now sees the benefits as an opportunity to beef up the town council again.

My concern, as it always has been, is that what is good now was good then. Millions of pounds have been wasted when efficiencies could have been made years ago. Grantham Town Council could be well established by now. As always, the local administration is late to the party.

I am glad they are now looking at this. I just would appreciate them listening more to what are good ideas, no matter where they come from.