Plans to create a Lincolnshire-wide ‘Super Council’ could yet be resurrected according to the leader of one of the authorities involved.
The chances of a Greater Lincolnshire Council being created appeared to disappear last month when two of the ten councils involved rejected the idea.
The new council would have taken on various services and received £450m of Government funding over the next 30 years – £15m a year.
Now, East Lindsey District Council leader Craig Leyland has revealed there are ‘rumblings’ the deal could go ahead.
Coun Leyland said: “Potentially, it is dead and buried but there are still rumblings that it could go ahead with the eight councils who voted for it. I thought devolution would have brought great benefits. It is very sad it is not happened.”
Coun Leyland was speaking in a question and answer session at Horncastle Town Council last week.
He was asked about the need for district councils amid massive cut backs in spending by district and county councils as a result of substantial reductions in Government funding.
Coun Leyland admitted a Greater Lincolnshire Coincil would add to the argument that district councils were no longer required.
He explained: “We have gone through the process of discussing devolution and that [the new council] was one step towards that.
“In effect, if it had happened you would have had another layer and you would have questioned those layers underneath.
“It would have put a stress on the organisational set-up we already have.
“As I said, I thought it would bring great benefits.
“If it ever does happen - and if it needs a re-structuring of all the tiers of local government - then so be it, as long as it is the best way to deliver services.
“I must add that, from a purely personal point of view, I think Lincolnshire is too big for one authority.”
The Greater Lincolnshire Council would have effectively stretched from the Humber to the Wash.
The ten councils involved were Boston Borough Council, City of Lincoln Council, East Lindsey District Council, Lincolnshire County Council, North East Lincolnshire Council, North Lincolnshire Council, North Kesteven District Council, South Holland District Council, South Kesteven District Council and West Lindsey District Council.
The agreement needed the support of all ten councils but the County Council and South Kesteven District Council both voted against.
One of the major criticisms was that the new authority would have been controlled by a Mayor.
That led to a significant no vote at County Hall.
Since then, county council leader Martin Hill has said he is still a ‘big fan’ of a new council.
Sources suggest the Government is still keen to see the proposals go ahead – as are other leading political figures in the county. However, ministers insist any deal must include a new mayor.