Do we need a town council?

BOSTON could be in line for its own separate town council, if enough people show their support for the new local authority.

Pensioner John Richards is trying to get together a petition to get the ball rolling and establish the independent body, which he believes would get to the heart of local issues and hold the borough to account on decisions made about the area.

The 88-year-old, of Vauxhall Road, said he thought a new council would bring the town in line with villages in the borough which have their own parish councils.

He told The Standard: “The borough council is looking at the whole picture - everything in the borough. Parish councils can look at things on a very local level - things that local people know and care about but are not always considered quite as carefully by the borough council.

“People in Boston don’t have that. We have to rely on the borough council.

“Why should we not have a Boston Town Council, our equivalent of a parish council and independent of the district council?”

Town and parish councils are traditionally the most localised form of governance, and focus on issues including grit bins, bus shelters and events. They are also statutory consultees for planning applications - often providing vital local insight.

Boston is currently served by The Boston Town Area Committee (BTAC) on Boston Borough Council, which the authority says acts as a town council, but Mr Richards said he did not think this was sufficient, as it was not separate from the main authority.

But Coun Peter Bedford, leader of Boston Borough Council, said he thought BTAC fulfilled the role of the parish council satisfactorily.

He added: “BTAC has its own precept and budget, so it is probably very close to what Mr Richards is proposing. There would be a cost implication to setting up another separate town council, and I am sure borough council taxpayers would not want to pick up that bill.”

Mr Richards is now trying to gauge support for a new council through a petition. Anyone interested should contact him on 01205 350056.