WHY are Tory councils in Boston and Lincolnshire so different to the Tory council in Worcestershire where residents interested in finding out more about how localism could work, were recently invited to attend a public meeting in Kidderminster where officers and councillors from Worcestershire County Council explained the thinking behind their Think Local consultation, which was asking residents, businesses, community groups and parish, town and district councils what role they could play in delivering services on a more local level?
People were also able to contribute views through an online questionnaire on the county website. A Think Local document, which outlined the county council’s ideas, was also online.
The county council’s cabinet member for localism and communities said: “I wanted local people, groups and businesses to get involved during this consultation and influence the thinking around Localism and what it might mean for us here in Worcestershire. The Think Local document is not set in stone; instead it’s our initial thoughts on how localism could work, how local people could play a greater role in our communities and how we could work more closely with partners to reduce costs and improve the services we provide.
“At this stage it was really important that local people engaged with this consultation and let us know what they think. They may have ideas about the types of services they could get more involved in delivering, a community building or other asset they could run on behalf of local people, or they might have views on what the council could do to remove red tape and bureaucracy which we acknowledge can sometimes stand in the way of local people getting things done.”
Boston Labour councillors do not feel that Boston Conservative councillors are exploring ways to use the Localism Bill to the benefit of the people of Boston. Here are some examples of what could be done – looking at a drinks ban in our town, putting a tourist information kiosk in our Market Place, re-introducing a dog warden, involving local people in its car parking strategy, consulting with disabled drivers on car parking charges, abolishing BTAC and introducing a town parish council and introducing co-options to our committees to include people with special interest to give us their advice.
Unfortunately, the Localism Bill seems to have by-passed Boston Borough Council.
BOSTON LABOUR COUNCILLORS