Town’s size to be discussed

Mark Simmonds, Cllr Peter Bedford and Richard Harbord.
Mark Simmonds, Cllr Peter Bedford and Richard Harbord.

A meeting is to be held between Boston Borough Council and the Office for National Statistics (ONS) to discuss the size of Boston’s population, with the possibility of extra Government funds coming to the authority as a result.

The council has been making the case for some time for extra funding because of the increase in population primarily caused by the influx of migrant workers.

It had been hoped that the 2012 National Census would prove the case and while it did show that Boston had one of the highest percentage increases in population in the country – up by 15.8 per cent – it was felt that the new population figure of 64,600 was still an underestimate.

The council had suggested a meeting with the ONS and this is now set to happen.

It follows a meeting at the House of Commons, hosted by the town’s MP Mark Simmonds, between the council leader, Coun Peter Bedford, the chief executive Richard Harbord, and Brandon Lewis MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Communities and Local Government.

Coun Bedford said: “Mr Lewis had, at our previous meeting when he came to Boston, stood by the funding formula used by Government, based on current best evidence available – from the Office of National Statistics – and challenged the council to provide evidence of a bigger population.

“So it is a move forward on this that, at our suggestion and with backing from the MP, we are to have a meeting with the ONS.”