Once again, an interesting letter from Cllr Burt Keimach.
I think a few facts and truths need to be aired. MR BIG owes its existence to the Mary Portas money.
It was when I was Mayor that we put our name forward to bid for this money. Any money of this type needs the support of a local authority.
The district council is responsible for administering the money and the town council in a supporting role.
“The Town Council is a statutory body and is the most local level of government. It has an important role in promoting the town, representing its interests and supporting the work of different groups in the community”.
So, how did the money come our way? At the time Gainsborough Town Council was also putting a bid together. I was advised by West Lindsey that it wouldn’t be right to put a counter bid in as it would make it difficult for both bids to be considered.
My view was that Gainsborough was putting in for the large town category and Market Rasen was going for the small town category so it shouldn’t cause a problem.
The town council then started to see if it was possible to move this forward. There was a group of people in the town that was keen to have ago.
So against the advice I was given not to bid for the Portas Pilot money, I went on the Peter Levy radio show and said we would now bid for this money.
There is no doubt, we have an excellent group of skilled people in MR BIG who took this forward.
Whatever has been said, there has been support given to this project from its conception.
There are people in the town that have been fuelling this negativity about the relationship between MR BIG and the Town Council.
I was shocked by the feedback I received from the Leader of West Lindsey, Cllr Jeff Summers, on the information he received regarding the subject.
O’ yes, regarding ostensibly taxes. I had to look this one up! I’ll have to remember this for scrabble.
A large proportion of the parish tax is what the district council adds, in what they call council tax relief. Taking from Peter and giving it to Paul. Over 11% I think it was this year, over £10,000 to you and me!
As far as I am aware, there is no duplication of services either. I would like Cllr Keimach to give me an example and we can discuss it.
With the localism agenda just around the corner it will rely on local communities to take more responsibly in running their local community.
If Cllr Keimach was to attend these meetings then he would understand more of what is going on and the key role town/parish council will play.
I will leave the rest to Market Rasen’s new Mayor, Cllr John Matthews to update you further on the state of play at the moment. All positive!
Market Rasen Town and District Councillor