UPDATE FRIDAY 3.50PM: Plan to consider one council for Lincolnshire moves forward after meeting

Lincolnshire County Council Leader, Coun Martin Hill.
Lincolnshire County Council Leader, Coun Martin Hill.

Changes that could see one council being responsible for public services in Lincolnshire have moved a step forward after a debate today.

Members of Lincolnshire County Council voted in favour of a plan to look at what savings could be made by changing the way the county is run after it was revealed that services are set to by cut by another £120 million over the next three years.

The plan was put forward by county council leader Martin Hill who said it was about “how we can work better together collectively and effectively”, after describing the current set-up of councils, police, health trusts and other public bodies as “disjointed and dysfunctional”.

In a statement, Coun Hill said: “Further devolution of responsibilities from Government to city and county areas such as Lincolnshire should be pursued.

“The opportunity should also be taken to rationalise local decision-making and remove the structural impediments to delivering cost-effective and efficient local services.”

THURSDAY 5.50PM: Plans that would see the axing of all seven district and borough councils in Lincolnshire are set to be put under the spotlight today.

Lincolnshire County Council members will debate an idea floated by its leader, Coun Martin Hill, to introduce a new, unitary authority for the county and save an estimated £30 million.

Such a move would see the end for the likes of Boston Borough Council, as well as district councils such as East Lindsay, North Kesteven, South Holland and South Kesteven

The idea has already be branded as “pointless” by South Holland District Council leader Gary Porter, despite an alternative suggestion of Lincolnshire being run by a so-called “doughnut-style” model involving a central county council backed up by a number of rural bodies.

Coun Hill told the BBC on Sunday: “It would be much better to work better together to save money and it would be easier for the public and receivers of services to work out.”

But the idea was rubbished by Coun Porter who responded: “We don’t believe that unitary government is either efficient or effective so it’s pointless.”

For full coverage of the debate from Lincolnshire County Council, follow it here on this website and to join in, use the hashtag #Lincsdivide

The meeting starts at 10.30am but there are other items on the agenda so it is not known when the debate will start.