COLUMN: What this extra £8m will mean for us all

Matt Warman.
Matt Warman.

There are not many times when a politician can genuinely, hand on heart, claim a victory, but this last week has been one such.

With the help of my six Lincolnshire colleagues, some £8m more is now coming from central government to the county council and to Boston Borough and East Lindsey District Council over the next couple of years.

It means the latter, for instance, can make the changes it was planning without the painful need to deplete its meagre 
reserves.

This is not to deny that the next few vital years of balancing the books will still require some tough choices – but it will now be that some of the very hardest decisions are slightly easier.

By presenting a sensible case to the Department for Communities and Local Government, a broad coalition of rural MPs was able to secure a real movement in policy, and for the future a commitment to look at how best to cope with the 
specific challenges around delivering services in big, sparsely populated rural counties.

The week has, however, been a reminder that while MPs can, working together, stand up for their local interests, central government must always seek to balance a never-ending stream of interests from, for instance, rural, metropolitan and suburban areas.

The effect is to ensure that only a constantly watching brief will mean the best outcomes are reached – and to remind me of the value of having the ear of the party of government.

Without that, this latest rural deal simply wouldn’t exist.

Matt Warman is the Member of Parliament for Boston and Skegness.