OBSERVER: Devolution will be down to one man

Grantham Journal letter.
Grantham Journal letter.

A couple of weeks ago I commented on Boston Borough Council’s decision to vote for the Lincolnshire devolution proposal and the praise from the leader for the decision which will bring so many millions of pounds to the county – or will it?

It now appears that of the councils in Lincolnshire two have voted against the proposals, including the county council.

The county council’s decision was taken by 65 members, with only 17 voting in favour and five not even bothering to say yea or nay! It says a lot for our representatives that it was they who originally gave approval to the idea and then decided to ask us if we wanted a directly elected mayor for Greater Lincolnshire; that decision was narrowly against the suggestion.

Now the county have seen the proposed details of what is proposed they have voted against it: but, surprisingly, it appears that the final decision will be left to one man – the county council leader. Yet that leader is against the idea of one person (a directly elected mayor) making decisions on behalf of the whole of the county!

I’ve often been accused of living ‘in the past’ but when you look back at how the county used to be run you have to wonder if many of the decisions made on our behalf have been correct. Have we really gained anything by having a county council?

The old areas of the county did very well for their ratepayers in providing services and at least we knew that the people taking decisions on our behalf were knowledgeable about their area. We didn’t have people from Gainsborough, Grantham or Lincoln, for example, making decisions without being aware of the consequences.

All we can hope for is that IF this devolution package is eventually approved it will mean improvement for the whole of the county, not just those areas whose representatives shout the loudest or have the most influence. We’re all supposed to be in it together – whatever that may mean!