Independent: ‘End of Tory rule is an unexpected opportunity for Boston’

Alison Austin
Alison Austin

An Independent councillor who held off the challenge of UKIP to win her county division says last week’s election result could create ‘unexpected opportunities for Boston’ with the end of Tory dominance at County Hall.

Alison Austin took the Boston South seat from Conservative Paul Skinner at last Thursday’s Lincolnshire County Council elections. Coun Skinner fell into third place behind UKIP’s Don Ransome.

Coun Austin, who also holds a seat in the South ward of Boston Borough Council, was one of one two non-UKIP winners on a night dominated by the anti-EU party.

Hers was the fourth division to be announced on the night, with the first three falling to UKIP as the party threatened to make a clean sweep of the borough’s seats.

The Conservatives will now have to make a deal in order to form an administration as they fell three short of the number of seats needed for an overall majority. That might pave the way for Independents to have a big say in the way the county is governed over the next four years.

Coun Austin told The Standard: “I find myself in an exciting and challenging situation.

“This election result could create unexpected opportunities for Boston. The Conservative group no longer has an overall majority on the County Council and will need the support of others to remain in power.

“The UKIP vote was a protest against national policies, most of which cannot be influenced by Lincolnshire County Council.”

She added: “I’d like to take this opportunity of thanking all those who supported me in any way.

“I look forward to serving the people of the Boston South division, irrespective of their political views.”