Leyland doubts single tier proposals

Craig Leyland
Craig Leyland
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East Lindsey District Council leader Craig Leyland has revealed he has ‘serious concerns’ about proposals for a new unitary authority to govern Lincolnshire.

The idea has been put forward by Councillor Martin Hill, the leader of Lincolnshire County Council.

If adopted, it would mean the current county and district councils would be abolished and replaced by a single authority.

Coun Hill argues the idea would save £150m over the next five years and he described the current system as ‘one we can no longer afford’.

He wants residents to have a say on the idea in a poll which would coincide with county council elections in May.

However, Coun Leyland urged caution and said the proposals raised more questions than answers.

He also asked why Coun Hill had released his proposals through the media and not held prior discussions with district councils.

Coun Leyland suggested the proposals were designed to protect the future of the county council.

He said: “My own personal feeling is Lincolnshire is too big an area for a single authority. And, while saving £150m might sound appealing, is that really the best deal for this county?

“Don’t forget, it is not that long ago that there were proposals for a new authority that would have attracted £450m in Government funding over 30 years.

“We need to remember that it was the county council who ended that deal by voting against it.

“A lot of people are slightly bemused by these new proposals - and the timing of them”