It was announced in the news today by the leader of Lincolnshire County Council that the number of County Councillors is to be reduced from 77 to 71.
I fully supported this recommendation, which will be considered by the Boundary Commission, but think we haven’t gone far enough.
In Lincolnshire we have 77 County Councillors and 300 District Councillors.
The districts largely speaking don’t work with each other and the same is true of the county and the districts.
Looking at East Lindsey alone there are 160 Parish Councils.
I had a problem with a planning issue when I first moved to Lincolnshire and ended up going to Sir Peter Tapsell.
He said he was sorry but he had no influence over the District Council.
What is the point of having elected representatives if they can do nothing?
I have recently been to Parish Council meetings where they expressed despair at the fact that the District Council ignores their decisions, as does the County Council.
Now move on and look at the national picture. We have 650 Members of Parliament, so many in fact that if they all turn up there aren’t enough seats for them in the House of Commons.
We have around 800 people in the House of Lords with far less seats than that.
We heard last week that Westminster is in urgent need of remedial repair work and will have to be vacated while the work is being done.
That gives us the opportunity for a radical look at reviewing the over-management of our country.
Some fundamental questions need to be answered, such as would we have parliament in London if we started from scratch.
What’s wrong with Birmingham or Leeds? Why have government departments in London?
The huge building occupied by the ministry of defence could be vacated if they moved north, and if you are going to keep parliament in London use the building for apartments for MP’s.
In the USA in Kansas we had just 2 senators, and Kansas is the size of the UK! Looking at local councils tinkering at the edges is not good enough.
If they won’t talk to each other positively then we need to force the issue and simplify everything.
Discussion is taking place about unitary councils and it is time to actually do something.
The same goes for the size of the House of Commons.
What’s wrong with one MP for Lincolnshire?
Why have more than 100 people in the upper chamber, that is if we need an upper chamber at all.
All of this will be opposed by vested political interests but we need to rise above all this.
So here am I, a turkey voting for Christmas.
Lincolnshire County Councillor for Tattershall Castle Ward