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Councillor fails in bid to axe Lincolnshire County Council

Ashley Baxter also mocked for repeated attempts to be elected to it

South Kesteven district councillors have voted overwhelmingly to reject a bid to abolish Lincolnshire County Council.

Independent Ashley Baxter submitted a motion to full council last week calling for SKDC to lobby government for this, claiming the Lincoln-based council was too remote and duplicates services, causing confusion amongst the public. He said: “We should devolve power and authority to more local areas.”

Either South Kesteven could take on its powers and become a unitary authority, or South kesteven could share them with neighbouring district councils. Already it shares some back office functions with them.

Grantham Independent SK councillor Mike Cooke agreed, saying in this case ‘Big is not beautiful’ and in trying to abolish its county council, SKDC could set a trend.

SKDC leader Matthew Lee accepted ‘frustrations’ with the county council, but said you simply cannot abolish it. He doubted the government would listen to his lobbying and it would take years to reorganise matters.

Independent Bob Broughton then raised laughter: “It’s hilarious that six months ago, he (Coun Baxter) was trying to join the body he is trying to abolish.”

Coun Baxter replied: “I shall carry on standing for election. It’s exactly like voteing Ukip. You vote Ukip for them to go to the EU and dismantle it.”

A second motion from Coun Baxter to make the SKDC chairman and vice-chair elected by secret ballot also failed. He said the roles are non-political and councillors should have a free vote.

Council leader Matthew Lee noted an irony with Coun Baxter often complaining SKDC made decisions ‘behind closed doors’ but said if others wanted to suggest names, he would put them to the ruling Conservative group.

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