Sir Edward: ‘Leave present council structure in place’

Edward Leigh EMN-151217-102730001
Edward Leigh EMN-151217-102730001
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Market Rasen and Caistor MP Sir Edward Leigh has said any changes to local government in Lincolnshire must be done by ‘consent’ and not imposed from above.

Speaking during a House of Commons debate on local government reform, the Conservative MP said: “People in Lincolnshire want to proceed by consent.”

Sir Edward, who has been an MP for more than 30 years, added: “We do not want a bruising battle over many years between district and county councils about which should be abolished.

“We want to proceed by consent and to get together.”

Recalling Ted Heath’s reforms – famous for creating the unpopular Humberside – Sir Edward said: “Many people are scarred by the events of the 1970s, when ancient counties were swept 
away.

“We want to leave the present structure in place with district councils and county councils, and perhaps form a new body on which those will be represented,

“I am worried that in our rush for change and innovation, we may ride roughshod over what local people and local councillors 
want.”

Lincolnshire County Council is leading a review of proposals for a unitary council, with leader Martin Hill claiming it could save between £25 million and £30 million a year.