Town Council - Is it really value for money?

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Mayor Matthews is certainly entitled to his intemperate views, but he should put them into perspective.

We could start with a few basic facts. For instance, lest anyone forget, it was the Town Council who squandered £70,000 of taxpayers’ money in cleaning up dangerous asbestos they negligently caused to be deposited at Mill Road.

Recently they waited until the last minute to acquire the De Aston Field for an expensive £90,000 - instead of doing it years earlier for a possible peppercorn rate.

Adjoining that land is the cemetery which West Lindsey District Council, after years of cajoling, finally got the Town Council to take over and run, something they had resisted for years.

The district council has from the outset supported MR BIG and participated enthusiastically with Mary Portas and all the work to rejuvenate the High Street - let us not forget the fiasco of an interview that this Mayor’s predecessor, Cllr Bridger, had with Peter Levy on the radio; where he was openly mocked by the presenter for having meeting after meeting after meeting, rather than take action.

It was the district council who insisted that the eyesore pub at the eastern end of Queen Street be made safe and presentable. And it was the county and district councils who worked together with Network Rail to remove the Chapel Street Bridge pigeon health menace.

Again, it was not the town council but Lincolnshire County Council Highways who installed a more modern traffic light system at the complicated intersection in the town centre.

I also recall that thousands of pounds of Lincolnshire County Council Big Society, and West Lindsey District Councillor Initiative Funds have donated to the Hub; to equipment for Mill Road; to CLIP learning centre on the High Street; and to the Bowls Club; and to many other causes in nearby parishes.

In the future each element in local government will be challenged to provide value for money in the services they provide and in the way they are delivered.

Thomas Smith

Market Rasen